From Bloomberg News
Haiti, one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Western Hemisphere, returns thousands of unused doses donated by the United States to prevent them from expiring.
The COVAX facility, which provides free-funded vaccines to the poorest countries, said in an email statement Wednesday that the dose returned from Haiti was relocated elsewhere to “minimize potential waste.” I confirmed that it will be placed.
The Le Nouvelliste newspaper quoted health ministry officials as reporting that it understands that Haiti will receive new batches in the future, with “hundreds of thousands” of doses expiring in November sent to COVAX. The exact number of vaccines returned has not been confirmed by the government or COVAX facilities.
In the United States, 500,000 times of Moderna Inc. through COVAX (abbreviation of COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) in July. Donated the vaccine to Haiti. According to the Ministry of Health of Haiti, the dose administered was less than 66,800, and only 20,354 of the 11.4 million people in the Caribbean were fully vaccinated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has reported 22,731 cases and 649 deaths from COVID-19. The call to the ministry for comment was not immediately returned.
The news is another blow to Haiti, the last country to start vaccination in the Americas and one of only six countries in the hemisphere that has vaccinated less than 20% of the population. Others include Jamaica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere, has been upset by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August.
Ciro Ugarte, Head of Health Emergency at the Pan American Health Organization, said gang violence, natural disasters, fuel shortages and hesitation in vaccines have made it difficult to deploy vaccines in Haiti.
“Haiti’s socio-political situation remains tense, which is having a negative impact,” he said at a video press conference Wednesday.
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