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Pan American Health Organization warns against losing focus on the COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2022. 1:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: At her weekly press briefing, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne today said COVID-19 remained a “significant threat” to the region and that prevention is key to avoiding infection and protecting people’s health.

Despite a decrease in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the Americas, “hundreds of people are still dying every day from COVID-19 across our region,” Dr. Etienne stated. “Yet countries have scaled back their public health measures while millions remain unvaccinated.”

While most vaccines delivered in the Americas are for boosters, 10 countries and territories have yet to fully vaccinate even 40 percent of their populations and some people still have yet to receive a single vaccine dose.

“We must not and cannot be complacent, because this virus is still circulating, still evolving, and new variants can still emerge,” Dr. Etienne said, calling on countries to prioritize those who remain unprotected, including children who return to school this month.

 

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