Coronavirus infections are growing in much of Central America and on smaller Caribbean islands. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Wednesday, when it repeated a call for more vaccine donations to help more affected nations.
Director of PAHO Carissa Etienne He said that while Uruguay, Chile and Argentina – nations that have made considerable progress in their vaccination campaigns – are reporting a sharp drop in new infections, cases and deaths are spreading in Cuba, Honduras and Guatemala.
The Amazon regions of Colombia and Peru also remain COVID-19 focal points, he said.
“We have a vaccine pandemic and the only way to prevent it is to extend vaccination,” Etienne said during a weekly briefing. “Vaccines are critical, even if no vaccine is 100 percent effective.”
Just 15 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been completely vaccinated, he said, adding that the figure obscures the fact that some countries include Honduras and Haiti they have yet to reach even 1 percent of inoculation.
Etienne repeated a call for countries with enough doses to distribute them as soon as possible countries in need.
“We clearly need more vaccines and we need them now,” he said. “Right now vaccine donations are really the only way for many countries in our region to ensure the doses they need quickly.
“Please don’t wait to get extra doses.” You have to share out what you have now. ”
The COVAX mechanism will send an additional 3.7 million doses of vaccine to countries in the Americas region by the end of July, said PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa.
PAHO is working closely with the United States to overcome logistical challenges for donation delivery, he added.
On Tuesday, three million doses of the Modern coronavirus vaccine donated by the United States arrived in Guatemala, bringing to 4.5 million the number of doses the United States has sent to the Central American nation.
America reported 967,000 new cases and 22,000 deaths last week, Etienne said, a slight weekly decrease. “These trends illustrate how COVID-19 remains rooted in our region, particularly in countries without vaccination coverage,” Etienne said. “And the spread of variants only makes things worse.”
Meanwhile, in the United States, there is a concern about the persistence hesitant hesitation in some parts of the country, as well as fears about cases of discovery among vaccinated people.
Just over 68 percent of adults in the United States have received at least one stroke. But some states have reached 40% or more. The state of Mississippi is the last place with only 37.7 percent of adults who have received at least one dose.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a fully vaccinated White House official had tested positive for COVID-19 off-site and had mild symptoms.
She said the officer was staying outside the White House grounds pending further evidence for confirmation. The White House medical unit had conducted traces of contacts and interviews, not finding close contact between staff and President Joe Biden.
Psaki also said there have been other cases of vaccinated employees who have tested positive.
“We know there will be advanced cases, but as this example shows, cases in vaccines are typically mild,” he said. “This is another reminder of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against serious diseases or hospitalizations.”
Over the weekend, six Democratic lawmakers in Texas who were visiting Washington gave positive feedback for COVID-19. Vice President Kamala Harris met with lawmakers last week but tested negative, Psaki said.
A former spokeswoman for the presidency of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who has been completely vaccinated and has come into contact with Texas lawmakers, also gave positive feedback. The spokesman has not had any contact with Pelosi since he was exposed to the virus, according to the speaker’s office.