The poorest country in the Americas is also the only nation in the region without any Covid-19 vaccines. Haiti is in the middle of a perfect storm of crisis, with coronavirus cases going unreported, gang violence skyrocketing, and political turmoil.
Vaccination in the Caribbean nation will rely only on a shipment of 766,000 doses from the UN-backed COVAX facility in May. The fund, in turn, says Haiti has only recently completed the registration process to be a part of its global aid initiative.
Bureaucratic delays are not the only concern for the country. According to Haitian health experts, the country’s infrastructure for storing vaccines is desperately poor, meaning that two-shot immunizers will pose a logistics problem in the nation. “It’s no secret that we don’t have excellent conservation facilities,” said Haiti’s Health Ministry’s director-general Lauré Adrien, speaking to The Guardian.
U.S human rights groups have also issued complaints of mismanagement of funds earmarked to fight the pandemic.
Haiti officially reports 12,700 coronavirus cases and 251 deaths, which both local doctors and international organizations say is inaccurate. The figures released by the government in Port-au-Prince would give Haiti the region’s lowest mortality rate.