More Latin American countries begin vaccine rollout

vaccine rollout latin america

Two Latin American nations started to vaccinate citizens against the coronavirus this week: the Dominican Republic, on February 16, and Venezuela, on February 18. Now, only Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Honduras, and Uruguay have yet to administer their first jabs, expecting to do so in the coming weeks and months.

  • Dominican Republic. Rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine began in a Santo Domingo military hospital. The government hopes to vaccinate the country’s entire 10.6-million population by the end of the year — but the first shipment of vaccines included only 2,000 shots. Even so, President Luis Abidander said the country’s “nightmare is about to end.”
  • Venezuela. State-owned TV stations broadcast the first inoculations on Thursday, one week after the arrival of 100,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. The shipment is part of a USD 200-million deal for 10 million shots. The Pan-American Health Organization stated that at least 1.4 million vaccines will be sent to Venezuela in March by way of the UN-backed COVAX facility. Official records state there have been 1,300 Covid-19 deaths in Venezuela, but many organizations and health workers say the figures are underreported.

Paraguay. The South American country is almost ready to begin rolling out its vaccination program. On Thursday, authorities received the first doses of the Sputnik V immunizer, and President Mario Abdo Benítez plans to start vaccination on Monday, prioritizing frontline health workers. Paraguay has recorded 2,991 coronavirus deaths and over 147,000 infections among its population of 7 million.

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