U.S. provides approximately 837,000 Pfizer vaccines to the Caribbean

San Juan, Puerto Rico — The U.S. government announced on Wednesday that it will provide approximately 837,000 Pfizer vaccines to Caribbean countries as resource-constrained areas are suffering from a surge in COVID-19 cases in a fierce anti-vaccine protest. Did.

The Bahamas will receive 397,000 doses, followed by Trinidad and Tobago with more than 305,000 doses. Barbados will receive 70,200 doses, 35,100 doses in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 17,550 doses in Antigua, and 11,700 doses in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

“Today’s Biden Harris administration’s top priority in the Americas is to manage and terminate the COVID pandemic and contribute to a fair recovery,” said Juan Gonzalez, senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere. I am.

Thousands of specialized syringes needed for the Pfizer vaccine were also donated, and authorities noted that the donation contained “significant legal and logistical complexity.”

In addition, USAID, which has provided more than $ 28 million to help 14 Caribbean countries fight COVID-19, will soon announce additional funding, according to White House officials.

According to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Service, more than 1.29 million cases and more than 16,000 deaths have been reported in the Caribbean region, and approximately 10.7 million have been vaccinated to date. ..

Haiti is one of the hardest-hit Caribbean countries. Haiti received its first vaccine shipment on July 14, since the pandemic began. This is 500,000 doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the United States through the United Nations COVAX program for low-income countries.

In more than 11 million countries, 20,400 confirmed cases and 575 deaths have been reported, but experts say these numbers are significantly underreported due to the lack of extensive testing. thinking about.

A National Security Council spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the United States “will soon send a significant amount of additional doses to Haiti,” but no further details were immediately available.

On Wednesday, Haiti’s health minister, Lore Adrian, said about 16,000 people in Haiti were vaccinated and all 10 sectors of the country were vaccinated.

The US government’s announcement was in the midst of recent vaccine controversy protests in Guyana, Antigua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the prime minister was hit by a rock last week and was temporarily hospitalized.

Meanwhile, two Guadeloupe firefighters were injured during a recent protest against the COVID-19 curfew, according to a government statement. Similar protests were also reported on the nearby island of Martinique, a French island with more than 370,000 people, with 1,176 cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants.

“Tourists are invited to end their stay on Martinique,” the prefecture said on Monday.

That same day, Martinique officials issued new regulations, including closing beaches and unwanted businesses and ordering people to stay no more than about 0.5 miles from their homes. Meanwhile, U.S. Virgin Islands officials have announced future steps, including closing the beach by late afternoon on weekends.

Among the islands most suffering from the COVID-19 surge are the Bahamas, Curacao, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago.

France recently deployed military medics and ICU units in the French Caribbean to combat the virus surge, and announced that military aircraft had brought seriously ill patients to mainland France for treatment.

Danica Koto

Associated Press