Vaccinating 20 percent of the population in Latin America will cost $ 2 billion

PAHO estimates that vaccinating 20% ​​of the population in LA, enough to protect those most at risk of COVID-19, will cost $ 2 billion

Vaccinate 20 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean it will cost more than 2 billion dollars, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which urged considering vaccines as a “smart and necessary” investment.

“We know that delivering a vaccine will be challenging and expensive,” PAHO Deputy Director Jarbas Barbosa said at a press conference.

“In fact,” he added, “the latest projections of COVAX Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean they estimate that vaccinating 20 percent of the population will cost more than 2 billion dollars ”.

The official was referring to the estimates made by the global procurement mechanism of the COVAX Facility, a global alliance of the World Health Organization (WHO) that several countries have joined to facilitate the equitable distribution of future vaccines against the virus.

Despite recent “good news” about the development of possible COVID-19 vaccinesBarbosa cautioned that only one “that has been shown to be safe and effective will be approved by regulatory bodies, endorsed by WHO, and ultimately made available through COVAX.”

“So there is still a lot to do,” he clarified.

Partnerships for vaccination

Some 180 countries have joined COVAX Facility and are guaranteed initial doses of the vaccine to cover at least 3 percent of its population in the early stages, with the goal of reaching 20 percent enough to protect those most at risk.

On the other hand, Barbosa warned of a fall in vaccination rates against other diseases, due to the pandemic.

“This year, nine countries in the Americas region reported a total of 8,479 cases of measles, including eight deaths, and five countries reported 56 cases of diphtheria, including 16 deaths. Both diseases can be completely prevented with vaccines, “added the head of PAHO, who defended vaccines as” a global public good. “

Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Project Application. Photo from .

Regarding the numbers of the pandemic, Barbosa indicated that in the last week in the region of the Americas, about 1.5 million cases and 19 thousand deaths were reported.

Since the beginning of the crisis sanitaryAccording to the PAHO deputy director, more than 23 million people have contracted the disease and more than 680,000 have lost their lives in the region.

Barbosa noted that the United States, the country most affected by the pandemic, “continues to be a major driver of new infections,” with more than a million new infections confirmed in the last week alone.

He noted that Mexico has already exceeded one million cases, while in Canada the rebound of the disease continues.

The PAHO official wanted to draw attention to Central America, which after being hit by the hurricane Eta, suffers the impact of another phenomenon, Iota, which, according to the official, may threaten the regional response to the pandemic.

“Countries must remain vigilant. All countries should continue to monitor their epidemic situation and, if new infections emerge, they should adapt their responses quickly to prevent new outbreaks, ”he recommended.

With information from .