THE US government has donated 500,000 doses of the Moderna covid19 vaccine to Haiti.
In a press release on Wednesday night, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the delivery was made earlier that day.
In June, the US government listed Haiti “and other Caricom countries” as countries in the Caribbean that will receive covid19 vaccines from its planned global donation of 80 million doses.
It said, “Approximately 14 million for Latin America and the Caribbean to the following: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti and other Caricom countries, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Costa Rica."
To date, donations have been made to Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay. Costa Rica will receive its donation next week.
This means the remaining countries from this list are Brazil, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Panama and “other Caricom countries."
PAHO director Dr Carissa Etienne said the donation to Haiti is “quite promising.
“PAHO, along with other partners, is committed to supporting the Haitian people in these uncertain times and urges other international organisations to join us in supporting the covid response.”
She said PAHO has delivered “significant personal protective equipment, helped expand care for covid19 patients and provided thousands of tests and laboratory materials to strengthen surveillance activities” in Haiti within recent weeks.
“We have also helped train community health workers and have supported the Ministry of Health in preparing for covid19 vaccine introduction and setting up new systems to dispel rumors and covid misinformation.”
Haiti’s Minister of Public Health and Population Dr Marie Gréta Roy Clément said the vaccines will be administered for free.
"In public health, vaccination remains one of the most effective interventions.
“This first allocation of vaccines puts an end to a long period of waiting, an end to a long period of waiting not only for the Haitian population but also for the people of the region who were very concerned that Haiti was the only country in the Americas that had not yet introduced the covid19 vaccine.”
Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne chaired a virtual meeting with fellow Caricom ministers, secretariat officials, CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) and US public health and White House covid19 response officials last week.