February 28. The sluggish pace of covid-19 vaccination in the Caribbean is leaving the region vulnerable to current and future outbreaks of the disease, senior Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) officials have warned.
Unlike much of Latin America, where vaccination campaigns started slowly but ramped up quickly through 2021 when more doses became available, vaccination coverage across the Caribbean remains low. Of the 13 countries in the Americas that are yet to reach the World Health Organization’s 2021 goal of 40% vaccination coverage, 10 are in the Caribbean.
Only regional outliers Cuba—which produces its own vaccines—and the Dominican Republic have fully vaccinated more than half of their population. Haiti, which has been hit by natural disasters and political turmoil, has fully vaccinated less than 1% of its citizens against covid-19.
Though the number of new infections reported in the Caribbean last week fell by 44%, eight countries reported an increase in deaths. The region has now recorded more than 3.1 million covid-19 infections and 31 600 deaths.
Source: The bmj