Panama City, Jun 27 (EFE) .- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) applauded this Sunday the US donation to Honduras of 1.5 million vaccines against covid-19 and asked for more “large-scale” donations for the Latin American and Caribbean countries most affected by the health crisis.
“The United States should be applauded for taking a step forward to support Honduras, the region and the world,” Unicef’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jean Gough, said in a statement.
Gough added that these “1.5 million doses of vaccines represent a long-awaited relief for Honduras, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Latin America.”
The US announced, in an exclusive with EFE, that this Sunday Honduras will receive 1.5 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine against covid-19 through the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization (WHO), to be applied to 750,000 people.
This is the first time that the United States has distributed vaccines through the global Covax program, created to ensure that the anticovid vaccines reach the entire planet, since until now the United States had delivered them directly to the beneficiary countries.
Honduras is the third Latin American country to receive a vaccine donation within the 80 million doses promised by US President Joe Biden, of which more than 20 million will go to Latin American and Caribbean nations. .
So far, the Central American country, which has had a slow immunization process, has vaccinated less than 5% of its eligible population -around 70% of its 9.5 million inhabitants-, although according to the Honduran president, the bet is to vaccinate 81% of his compatriots.
“Furthermore, these doses are a ray of hope for the region and for all countries that are eagerly awaiting doses of Covax,” said Gough.
Unicef explained that after “18 months of pandemic” it could finally “begin to turn the fight around, but vaccines remain out of reach for many.”
That is why, according to UNICEF, “further increasing vaccine donations from well-supplied countries, including through large-scale dose exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean, is vital to help end the acute phase of the disease. pandemic”.
More than 30% of deaths from covid-19 in the world are in Latin America and the Caribbean, where cases continue to increase even among young people, but less than 11% of the region’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the UN agency.
Thus, Unicef recalled that more than 100 million minors in Latin America and the Caribbean are still out of the classroom due to the pandemic, and the most vulnerable are pushed into child labor.
Therefore, it is necessary to “use all available tools to accelerate the response to the pandemic and vaccines are a key tool,” they added.
Equitable access to covid-19 vaccines “represents the clearest path out of this pandemic for all of us, including children, and these donations are an important step in this direction.”
(c) EFE Agency