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Inter-American Development Bank comes through with billion-dollar vaccine aid for the region

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Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2020. 4:13 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is mobilizing US$1 billion in financial aid to help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean acquire and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Caribbean News Now reports.

Countries in Latin American and the Caribbean will receive aid in three main areas: (1) the purchase of vaccine doses through multilateral efforts; (2) institutional strengthening to help countries develop effective vaccine deployment mechanisms; and (3) investment to build immunization capacity and finance operational costs.

The new funds will complement the US$1.2 billion in resources that the IDB has initially pledged in 2020. The bank has also pledged its assistance to help countries “save lives through public-health measures, such as more effective testing and tracing, and better clinical management of COVID-19 patients.”

“We are expanding our support to help Latin American and Caribbean countries ensure timely access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone in a press release. “The coming months will be critical to altering the course of the pandemic and supporting the recovery of our region, which is why we are being bold and proactive.”

IDB said that it will work closely with other institutions, including the Pan American Health Organization.

As top pharmaceutical companies begin releasing COVID-19 vaccines, countries around the world are clamoring to obtain them in substantial numbers as early as possible.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved in the UK, while the United Arab Emirates was the first country to confirm Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm’s vaccine as 86% effective. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is claimed to have positive results.

 

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