PAHO: Speed up covid19 vaccination

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

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Wednesday asked the countries of the Americas to speed up the pace of vaccination for covid19.

Dr Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO, said in a webinar 11 countries had not yet reached the goal of immunising 40 per cent of their populations.

Covid19 cases in the Americas were up around 13.9 per cent last week from the previous week, with 1.3 million new cases and 4,158 new deaths reported.

In North America the increase was 7.7 per cent, in South America 24.6 per cent and in the Caribbean 3.2 per cent.

"These figures are a stark reminder that too many people remain vulnerable. In fact, there is work to be done to reach everyone who needs to be vaccinated," Etienne stressed.

She said countries "must not lower their guard," as the pandemic surprised "time and time again," and its effects will linger for years to come.

Etienne also spoke about the importance of treating people with post-covid syndromes, some of them with severe symptoms that require specialised treatments.

"Our health systems must recognise this lasting effect of the pandemic and help address it," she stressed, adding: "This is a real disease and it needs to be addressed with strong policies and guidance."

Ciro Ugarte, the director of health emergencies, emphasised the pandemic was not over, and said in many countries immunisation is low. He did not rule out that new variants of the virus may appear.


"PAHO: Speed up covid19 vaccination"

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