News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Feb. 2, 2021: Seventeen Caribbean countries will begin receiving doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine by mid-month.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the COVAX global vaccine sharing scheme expects to deliver 35.3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to 17 Caribbean and 15 Latin American nations between mid-February and the end of June.
The countries in the Caribbean region set to receive the vaccine are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucía, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
“The number of doses and delivery schedule are still subject to EUL and manufacturing production capacity,” PAHO said, adding that supply deals also had to be agreed with producers.
“The Pan American Health Organization has provided technical support to the Member States to support them in each phase of their participation in the COVAX Mechanism and in preparation of their national COVID-19 vaccination plans,” said PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa. “The use of these vaccines will allow us to advance in the fight to confront this pandemic, but we must still maintain and strengthen public health measures – such as the use of masks, avoiding crowds, social distancing and frequent hand washing – to prevent transmission, increased cases and deaths from COVID-19.”
The GAVI alliance, the group that co-leads COVAX with WHO, said last week it aimed to deliver 2.3 billion vaccines worldwide by the end of 2021, including 1.8 billion free doses to lower-income countries.
PAHO’s Revolving Fund, together with UNICEF, is procuring all vaccines on behalf of COVAX for countries in the Americas.
The Americas region will need to immunize approximately 500 million people to control the pandemic. The COVAX Mechanism is a global effort to accelerate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and ensure that they reach all those who need to receive them.
The goal is to provide vaccines for at least 20% of the population in each country participating in COVAX to protect those most at risk for severe forms of COVID-19.