Without vaccines, Haiti shuns COVAX doses

Without vaccines, Haiti shuns COVAX doses
Haiti says ‘no’ to AstraZeneca. Photo: Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock

Haiti remains Latin America’s only country not to have administered a single dose of coronavirus vaccine. Even so, the country allowed itself to decline a batch of 756,000 AstraZeneca vaccines offered by the UN-backed COVAX facility.

Haitian health authorities reportedly cited concerns over a rare immune reaction to the AstraZeneca jab, which has led to blood clotting. They also say the country lacks the required structure to store immunizers, and ask for single-shot vaccines instead. 

Without the doses from COVAX, Haiti may find itself without vaccines at least until June, as the government has yet to engage in negotiations with other manufacturers.

One of the poorest nations in the Americas, Haiti has essentially flown blind through the coronavirus crisis. Health data has been highly unreliable, with the government accused of tampering with the numbers as it battles growing political struggles.