According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), although the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Americas has declined, the region still accounted for more than half of the global deaths from the disease last week.
At a regular press conference on Wednesday, Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, said Unfair access Mainly blamed on medical care and vaccines.
Etienne said: “This clearly shows that although parts of our region are experiencing some relief, the losses from the American pandemic continue to destroy families and communities.”
Some countries in South and Central America have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and have not yet been able to obtain enough vaccines to provide comprehensive vaccination for 3% of their population. @DirOPSPAHO #Coronavirus disease
-Pan American Health Organization/WHO (@pahowho) July 7, 2021
According to the Pan American Health Organization, a quarter of people in the Americas have been fully vaccinated, with at least 600 million doses. But more than half of these doses come from the United States.
in spite of 67% Of adults have been vaccinated at least once in the United States, but some countries, especially Central America, have yet to make meaningful progress in vaccination campaigns.
Etienne said: “We must celebrate the ability of a country so severely affected by the pandemic to turn the situation around, but we must not turn a blind eye to the severe inequality in vaccine access.”
Etienne said cases are increasing in parts of El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Guatemala. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cuba has reported the largest number of new cases.
Haiti, a country that fell into turmoil after President Jovenel Moïse Assassinated at homeAfter that, the number of coronavirus cases dropped slightly Continue to surge. Etienne said that the country has not yet received any vaccines, and the recent escalation of violence has further challenged the response to the pandemic.
The Pan American Health Organization stated that so far, the region has injected approximately 24 million doses through the COVAX sharing mechanism, but more doses are still needed.
“Millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean still don’t know when they will have the opportunity to be vaccinated,” she said.
more than 600,000 people died According to a U.S. statistic, there are more people from the U.S. with COVID-19 than any other country in the world Johns Hopkins UniversityBut since the United States made significant progress in the vaccination campaign earlier this year, the mortality rate has been steadily declining.
In the context of declining demand for injections and international pressure to share doses, the administration of President Joe Biden has pledged to share Millions of doses To the countries in the world that need them.
last month Biden announced that the United States will provide 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to 92 low-income countries and the African Union’s COVAX program.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the distribution of more doses in the area.
Psaki told reporters: “We are sharing more doses in Latin America. One million doses of Johnson & Johnson will be shipped to Bolivia on Thursday, and one million doses of Pfizer will be sent to Paraguay.”
Etienne said that El Salvador received 1.5 million doses of vaccine from the United States through COVAX this week. She also praised Mexico for donating vaccines to Central American countries including Honduras.
She added that COVAX expects that the United States will add 60 million doses, Japan will exceed 11 million doses, and will soon provide 143 million doses in the region.
“The vaccine we have on hand is very effective and will help us overcome the pandemic,” Etienne said. “But we are the only ones who take this opportunity to address the challenges that have hindered us for a long time, especially the widespread inequality in access to health.”