Wed | Jan 19, 2022

PAHO: Vaccines flowing in

Published:Friday | March 12, 2021 | 12:14 AM
PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne.
PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne.

JAMAICA IS among at least seven countries that are slated to receive nearly 2.3 million doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility over the next few weeks.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr Carissa Etienne, said that the provision forms part of the 28.7 million doses scheduled for delivery to member countries through to May.

Dr Etienne, who was addressing PAHO’s COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday, said that over recent weeks, countries have been making advance payments to the Revolving Fund, which represents COVAX in the Americas “so they can begin to receive the 28.7 million doses that have been allocated to the Americas over the next three months”.

She noted that through the regional facility, agreements have been reached with vaccine manufacturers, orders placed on behalf of member states, and the necessary preparations made to deliver the doses.

“In those cases where bridge funding is required to access COVID-19 vaccines on a timely basis, the Revolving Fund is working with countries to extend financial credit to facilitate the procurement process,” she pointed out.

Dr Etienne said that the challenge now is to continue to accelerate vaccine deliveries to member states “to ensure that all countries receive their initial instalments this month”.

“We’re also looking ahead to what it will take to ensure everyone in our region is protected, and we are providing as much information as possible on the timing of allocated doses for April, May, and beyond,” she said.