Fri | Feb 3, 2023

More than 21 million Caribbean residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Published:Friday | February 25, 2022 | 10:29 AM
Addressing PAHO’s weekly COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday, PAHO director Dr Carissa Etienne highlighted the need for countries to do more to reach unvaccinated people. -Contributed photo.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has indicated that more than 21 million people in the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The region is home to more than 44 million people.

Addressing PAHO's weekly COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday, PAHO director Dr Carissa Etienne highlighted the need for countries to do more to reach unvaccinated people.

She said that interventions should be tailored to the needs of those who remain vulnerable in each country, including the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions.

In addition, she said that measures must be put in place to make it easier for people to get a vaccine closer to home.

“This can be done by investing in staff and infrastructure to ensure that vaccination centres are closer to the people who need them most and that the hours of operation are convenient for working adults,” she said, noting that PAHO is collaborating with governments across the region in this regard.

Etienne noted that spaces must also be created for open dialogue to address community concerns.

“This means working with trusted voices and community leaders to reach people, where they are, with the right information,” she said.

The PAHO director maintained that dialogue, trust, and outreach “are the tools that we must use to get more vaccines into arms and, ultimately, save lives”.

She encouraged persons who have been vaccinated to reach out and assist others who want to be immunised but have concerns, by listening to them and helping persons to locate a vaccination site.

“We have the power, as a community, to overcome these barriers and reduce the toll of this virus on our people,” Etienne said.

- JIS News

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.