Haiti will return to the Covax mechanism thousands of vaccine doses manufactured by the American company Moderna, which would expire next November, because the island’s health authorities have not been able to implement a massive campaign to immunize the population.
The information was confirmed by the co-president of the multisectoral commission for the management of covid-19 in Haiti, Jean William Pape, in statements offered to the local media The Nouvelliste, which indicates that in the Caribbean country they have only been vaccinated —With two doses— 27,035 people of the 11.4 million inhabitants, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Public Health and Population.
The refund is so that the doses that Haiti has not yet been able to apply are not lost and it is possible to redistribute them to other countries that have more advanced vaccination campaigns. “It is an exchange that is in keeping with the spirit of the Covax program to avoid vaccine waste“Pape said.
The health authority also indicated that Haiti will receive other doses through Covax, that will expire in 2022 and that they will arrive as part of the exchange of the returned drugs.
Why is there reluctance to get vaccinated?
Last July, in the midst of the crisis over the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the US sent 500,000 units of the Moderna vaccine to Haiti through Covax. However, Pape assures that the current rate of vaccination puts thousands of doses at risk of the drug that have not yet been applied to a population that would be reluctant to be vaccinated.
“Every time, the population finds an explanation, an excuse, to exclude the path of covid-19,” said Pape, who cited a study carried out on the island that would have determined that 87% of the inhabitants affirm that they do not know no case of coronavirus, or of people who died as a result of the disease.
For Pape, skepticism stems from “manipulation campaigns” of anti-vaccine sectors that are disseminated on social networks and that, in turn, contrast with the scant promotion made by the State to the immunization operation in the country.
The infectologist considered that Haiti should redouble efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated and regretted that the country does not have the example of its leaders applying the immunizer, which in his opinion could be influencing people’s reluctance.
Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Americas, has registered a total of 22,675 positive cases of covid-19 and 647 deaths from the disease since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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