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PAHO delivers 100 million COVAX vaccine doses to Latin America and the Caribbean

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Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2022. 9:20 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The COVAX mechanism for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean today reached 100 million doses delivered regionwide, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The latest batch of vaccines includes 151,200 doses of Moderna vaccine as part of the COVAX support to Haiti, and 1,511,640 doses of Pfizer vaccines for Ecuador donated by Spain.

“The 100 million doses mark a significant milestone,” PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne said. “Thanks to close coordination between COVAX and our Revolving Fund, and the generous support of partners that helped our region secure doses when supply was limited, our countries are better placed to get shots into arms and protect their populations, including the most vulnerable.”

The PAHO Revolving Fund is the designated procurement agency for COVAX in the Americas. Leveraging over four decades of experience in vaccine procurement, the Revolving Fund has now supplied 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 33 countries. Approximately 30 percent of these were donated by the United States of America, Canada, Spain, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

PAHO coordinated deliveries with other COVAX partners, such as UNICEF, CEPI, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi, and supported international logistics to ensure the vaccines arrive in countries safely and in the shortest possible time.

To complement efforts by COVAX, in August 2021 PAHO also launched an initiative for additional access to COVID-19 vaccines in the region by entering into Long Term Agreements with three manufacturers.

While 63 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have now been vaccinated against COVID-19, coverage remains uneven, with 14 countries and territories yet to immunize even 40 percent of their populations. Haiti remains at the bottom of the list with vaccine coverage of less than 1.2 percent.

Belize received donations from the COVAX program last March and June of AstraZeneca vaccines.

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