PAHO To Assist With Acquiring Vaccines For LA&C Countries

PAHO To Assist With Acquiring Vaccines For LA&C Countries

Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne, has said that the entity is negotiating with producers of n-coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines that have secured World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL), to acquire additional doses for Latin American and Caribbean member countries.

“Our proposal for direct purchase of COVID-19 vaccines through [PAHO’s] Revolving Fund is intended [to be] complementary to country bilateral agreements and… their agreements with the [WHO’s] COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility,” Dr. Etienne said.

She was speaking during PAHO’s COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday (July 28).

Noting that COVID-19 vaccine availability remains limited, Dr. Etienne said PAHO has been working with COVAX to ensure that at least 20 per cent of member countries’ populations are vaccinated this year, in order to combat the pandemic’s acute phase.

She maintained that while that target is yet to be achieved, “20 per cent is not enough”.

“We want to go beyond that. [But] more vaccines are needed to [inoculate] at least 70 to 80 per cent of the peoples in our countries to control the transmission of COVID-19,” the Director further emphasised.

Against this background, Dr. Etienne said PAHO was working “in every way possible” to secure more vaccines for regional countries “where cases and deaths are still the highest in the world and vaccination rates are low”.

“We have been working with countries that have available vaccine doses to get them to donate some of those to countries in our region, where they are most needed. Our aim is to help countries achieve the high immunisation coverage that is required to control transmission of COVID-19,” she said.

PAHO, through its Revolving Fund, remains committed to facilitating access to vaccines and other needs, including syringes and cold chain equipment, Dr. Etienne said, to ensure that regional countries continue scaling up their vaccination plans.

“This pandemic will not be over until everyone has access to the vaccines that they need to protect them from COVID-19 and [which are] especially important to reduce complications and deaths from the disease,” she added.

Source: JIS news

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