Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Read more
Sign In
June 16, 202110:44 AM PDTLast Updated a month ago
Americas
COVID-19 vaccine access, not acceptance, key issue in Americas -PAHO
Julia Symmes Cobb

3 minute read
People wait to receive an AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a vaccination campaign for homeless people, in Rio de Janeiro's downtown, Brazil, May 27, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo
BOGOTA, June 16 (Reuters) - The primary issue with lagging COVID-19 vaccinations in the Americas is access to doses, not acceptance of vaccine safety or efficacy, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, urging donor countries to send shots as soon as possible.
The Group of Seven rich nations said on Sunday they will provide 1 billion vaccine doses over the next year to help poorer countries inoculate their populations.
"I want to be clear that the primary issue in the Americas is vaccine access, not vaccine acceptance," PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said during the organization's weekly news conference. "We're counting on our leaders and the support of the global community to ensure the Americas have the doses they need – as soon as possible – to save lives."
The G7 pledge offers fresh hope the region will overcome supply barriers, she said. But even with the donation the Americas remains a long way from protecting its population.
"We hope G7 nations will prioritize doses for countries at greatest risk – especially those in Latin America that have not yet had access to enough vaccines to even protect even the most vulnerable," she said. "Vaccines are urgently needed today."
Over 1.1 million new cases of COVID-19 and 31,000 deaths were reported in the Americas last week, Etienne said, with particular upticks in six Mexican states, Belize, Guatemala, Panama and some places in the Caribbean.
Hospitals in Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay are largely seeing COVID-19 patients between the ages of 25 and 40 as the trend toward younger patients continued. In Brazil's Sao Paulo, 80% of intensive care units (ICU) occupants are COVID-19 patients.
Colombia's COVID-19 situation is at its highest point nationally, with ICU beds largely filled in major cities, Etienne added, urging countries to tighten public health measures in places with high transmission.
Haiti, which has not yet begun vaccinations, will be prioritized for doses from the COVAX vaccine distribution program expected to arrive in July, PAHO subdirector Jarbas Barbosa said.
Countries must provide clear information about when people can get shots and make sure they get their second doses, Etienne said. People skipping their second dose does not seem to be a widespread phenomenon, she added.
No country will be safe until high vaccination coverage is reached, Sylvain Aldighieri, PAHO's COVID-19 incident manager added.
"No country and definitely no region of the world is protected from new peaks of transmission."
Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page

Read Next
Americas
Guatemala attorney general fires leading anti-corruption prosecutor
July 23, 2021
Americas
Violent protests mar funeral of slain Haiti president
July 23, 2021
Americas
Venezuela says U.S. military plane violated its airspace
July 23, 2021
Media & Telecom
Brazil competition regulator signals 'complex' path for Oi sale approval
July 23, 2021

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Americas
Americas · July 23, 2021 · 6:13 PM PDT
Violent protests mar funeral of slain Haiti president
Haiti bid a rowdy farewell to assassinated president Jovenel Moise on Friday as his funeral was roiled by nearby gunfire and protests, prompting a high-level U.S. delegation to leave abruptly and other dignitaries to duck into vehicles for safety.
Americas
Colombia boosts budding cannabis industry by removing ban on dry flower exports
July 23, 2021
Americas
Pandemic-hit Canadian businesses call for eleventh hour aid extension
July 22, 2021
Americas
EXCLUSIVE Historic low river levels force Argentine grains ships to cut cargoes by 25%, ports chamber says
July 23, 2021
Americas
Venezuela says U.S. military plane violated its airspace
July 23, 2021
Latest
Home
Media
Videos
Pictures
Graphics
Browse
World
Business
Legal
Markets
Breakingviews
Technology
Investigations
Lifestyle
About Reuters
About Reuters
Careers
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Newsletters
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Westlaw
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
Onesource
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
Checkpoint
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Eikon
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
World-Check
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Cookies
Terms of Use
Privacy
Corrections
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved