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TODAY newspaper | Vaccination against COVID-19 advances unevenly in Latin America

Data from the same WHO with respect to the entire American continent show that to date 48,956,948 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,159,854 deaths have been registered, with a downward curve of both figures, but with great concern for those countries where the inoculation with any of the already authorized vaccines has not started.

However, in this group of countries there are subdivisions. In Uruguay, for example, there is still no certainty of the arrival of the 3.8 million doses from Pfizer and Sinovac – in addition to the 1.5 million doses that it already has secured from the Covax mechanism – but the fact of having contracts signed gives a certain guarantee to the Government to start vaccinating at least 3% of its population from March.

This is not the case in Nicaragua, where so far no progress has been reported in negotiations with any laboratory and it is very likely that the Government of Daniel Ortega is waiting for the Covax compounds to be shipped, which may not arrive until June.

The Nicaraguan government has also hinted that it expects the arrival of Sputnik V vials from Russia, but has not given dates for it either.

Although in Guatemala and Honduras they also eagerly await the compounds of Covax, a mechanism led by the WHO, apparently they have negotiated to get doses from laboratories such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

The rest of Central America is vaccinating, but the WHO has already warned that covid-19 can become more aggressive if it is not attacked uniformly in regional contexts.

The efforts of Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador could collapse if Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras do not take the vaccination « train » earlier, a concern that led the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) on Friday to announce that It will support Central America and the Dominican Republic with up to 800 million dollars to buy immunizers.

The case of Cuba is separate. The island has decided to develop its own vaccine and there are already four candidates that are in phase 2 of clinical trials. In addition, Cuba is not subscribed to Covax, so it will not receive vaccines from the WHO.

MISSION: STRENGTHEN COVAX

Thirty-three Latin American countries are subscribed to the Covax mechanism and the fight of those with fewer resources against covid-19 will depend almost exclusively on the doses that the WHO grants them.

That is why the head of the UN health entity, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, thanked this Friday that countries such as the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have announced new commitments with Covax for the global distribution of anticovid vaccines.

« There is a growing movement for equity in vaccine delivery, and I welcome world leaders, who are responding to the challenge, » the Ethiopian leader said in a statement.

The United States announced last Thursday that it will donate 2 billion dollars « immediately » for the development and equitable distribution of vaccines, and will contribute another 2 billion more in the coming months, in an attempt to assume international leadership against the pandemic.

Under the new Joe Biden Administration, the United States joined Covax at the end of January, in a 180 degree turn from the policy of the previous president, Donald Trump.

The push of powers such as the US will help the WHO supply vaccines to the third world and thus contribute to a fight against covid-19 on more equal terms, or at least to prevent the disease from being primed against the poorest.

AN UNEQUAL VACCINATION THAT COSTS MINISTERS «HEADS»

Privileges when it comes to vaccination are also a form of inequality and, as in the now famous case of the « Vacunagate » in Peru, in Argentina it also cost heads.

The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, requested this Friday the resignation of his Minister of Health, Ginés González García, amid the controversy raised by the official journalist Horacio Verbitsky, 79 years old.

Verbitsky, very close to Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was vaccinated against covid-19 after asking the head of the health portfolio, without respecting the protocol that is followed for the general population.

“I called my old friend Ginés González García, whom I have known long before he was a minister, and he told me that I had to go to the Posadas Hospital. When I was about to go, I received a message from his secretary, who told me that a team of vaccinators from Posadas was going to come to the Ministry, and to go to the Ministry to give me the vaccine, « Verbitsky revealed to El Uncover radio.

THE COLD STRAINS IMMUNIZATION IN THE US

The distribution of 6 million vaccines against covid-19 is delayed in the United States due to the snow and cold storm that plagues various parts of the country, the White House reported on Friday.

“We have a delay of about 6 million doses due to time. All 50 states have been affected, the 6 million doses represent about three days of delay in distribution. In many states they have been able to cover it with existing inventory, « said Andy Slavitt, one of the government advisers on the pandemic.

To the inconveniences of the different transport and logistics companies such as FedEx, UPS and McKesson, are added the road closures due to the storm, which have prevented the distribution of vaccines from « the manufacturing sites to the distribution and transport points » .