PAHO concerned over low vaccination rate in the Americas

PAHO director Dr Carissa Etienne. -
PAHO director Dr Carissa Etienne. -

Dr Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said on Wednesday vaccination against covid19 in the Americas continues to be low.

At a virtual press conference, she said: "We are encountering the pandemic of the unvaccinated and that is why sanitary and control measures continue to be effective and are an important front against the variants of concern."

She said PAHO continues to report low vaccination rates and, despite the doubts of some citizens, governments should insist on promoting vaccination.

"There are some countries where there are increases in cases, such as Honduras and Haiti, and continue with dangerously low vaccination coverage."

Etienne reported Haiti began vaccinating frontline personnel with the 500,000 doses of Moderna donated by the US.

Dr Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of PAHO, highlighted the case of Antigua and Barbuda where a segment of the population has refused to be vaccinated.

“Each country has its own way of acting. And despite the fact that vaccines have been criticised and rejected by certain groups through platforms, the vaccines have been tested for human use.

“PAHO is working with the Caribbean countries to send the correct messages to the community and show the reality of vaccines to the people. Not getting vaccinated puts your own health at risk and contributes to the spread of the virus.”

Barbosa said expanding vaccination and maintaining public health measures can help prevent the arrival of new waves of cases in each country.

"It is important to seek dialogue to convince people who still have doubts and, in the meantime, maintain sanitary measures."

Barbosa said he continues to advance the vaccine delivery schedule through the Covax mechanism.

He said PAHO's revolving fund is working so that the vaccine donations being made can reach the countries quickly.

PAHO reported 967,000 new cases and 22,000 deaths from covid19 on Wednesday, a slight decrease compared to the previous week and especially in places where vaccination is advancing.

In Costa Rica, as an example, one in three inhabitants is vaccinated and infection rates have decreased considerably.

In the Caribbean in Cuba there are drastic increases with 43,000 cases in the last week and in Martinique where the cases multiplied in young people.


"PAHO concerned over low vaccination rate in the Americas"

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