PAHO has thanked the US for its commitment to a COVID-19 vaccine dose-sharing plan through COVAX.
The US plans to send the first tranche of 25 million doses, including 19 million procured through COVAX, to countries around the world.
According to a White House statement, this includes approximately 6 million doses for South and Central America and other CARICOM countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.
The move is being welcomed by PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne who previously expressed concern about the inequitable access to vaccines.
In her latest statement, she points out that the virus continues to severely affect parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the most urgent need being vaccines:
“Our most urgent need continues to be additional vaccines, and as we thank the United States, I also want to repeat our call for other donations of vaccines to the countries of the Americas, which have a high epidemiological burden and not enough vaccines to reach a high proportion of their populations.”
According to PAHO, 8% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean have been vaccinated, while COVAX has so far delivered 18.9 million doses of vaccines to 31 countries in the Americas.