The Caribbean nation Haiti is among the countries that have been roiled by the COVID19 pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that Haiti is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the five nations in the world where the government has not been able to administer even a single jab of a COVID19 shot yet. However, the country has received its first batch of the COVID19 vaccine. The US government has sent 500000 doses of Moderna vaccine to Haiti amid a growing political crisis. The officials from the Biden government have confirmed that the shipments of the vaccine doses have reached Haiti and have been delivered at a facility that is run by COVAX. COVAX is an international organization, which is working to guarantee access to COVID19 shots to all low-income countries across the world. A spokesperson from the Biden government has said that the US is committed to helping the world to end the pandemic as 500000 doses of Moderna shot have already been sent to Haiti. The United States is planning to send a major fraction of additional doses soon to the Caribbean nation. The US has been doing fairly well in dodging the worst phase of the pandemic; however, cases and deaths related to COVID19 have started to flare up again in the month of May. Surging cases of COVID19 in the US have added to an already tense political, socio-economic, and humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
Haiti has been reeling through the turmoil after its president Jovenel Moise has been assassinated last week. The country has been delaying the reporting of the disease. However, as per the delayed data, in the first week of July, there have been 79 cases of COVID19 and five additional deaths related to the virus. Since the pandemic has hit the country, there have been nearly 19374 confirmed cases of COVID19 and around 487 people have lost their lives due to the disease. Health experts have said that though the number of COVID19 cases is low as compared to other places in Latin America, the officials from Haiti have been underreporting the count. They have said that the shortage of treatment centers for COVID19, combined with an increase in gang violence and the humanitarian crisis in Haiti might pose a great threat to the health care system of the country. As per the latest report, there are only a few hundred beds available in the country to treat COVID19 patients. Those hospitals that have beds available have stopped admitting patients due to the lack of medical equipment and oxygen or gang violence. Dr. Carissa Etienne, who is the head of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), has said that around 16000 Haitians have been vehemently dislocated from their homes in poor areas of Port-au-Prince amid violent gang conflicts. She has said that dislocations on top of other issues are a major concern. Dr. Carissa Etienne has said that Haiti has become a huge matter of concern amid growing political turmoil where thousands of people have been dislocated from their homes due to rising violence and insecurity. As per Dr. Carissa Etienne, overcrowded shelter homes might turn into active hotspots for the COVID19 community spread very soon.
Dr. Carissa Etienne has claimed that the lack of hospital supplies and rising violence have been limiting the ability of health care workers to provide care to patients. In some cases, patients have been trying to dodge medical care due to safety concerns. The Haitian government has allowed the import of vaccines in the month of May as cases have started to shoot up after AstraZeneca has delayed its shipments due to growing safety issues. The active government in the country has been facing a hard time in convincing people to get the shots. There have been many reports that two variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been circulating in the country, despite that people have been questioning the pandemic. The arrival of the Moderna vaccine might provide some relief to the Haitian government, however, getting these doses to people who are in need of vaccines will be a challenging task, said the experts. The US government has planned this donation to shoot up the rate of vaccination across the world. The donated doses will be used to counter new waves of infection, and prioritize inoculation among health care workers and vulnerable populations across the world. The Biden government has pledged to donate around 80 million doses of COVID19 vaccines across the globe. Out of 80 million doses, around 14 million doses have been allocated to Latin America and the Caribbean via the COVAX program that is led by the United Nations (UN). Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clement, who is Haiti’s Minister of Public Health and Population, has said that the arrival of the first batch of doses has put an end to a long time of waiting. People who have been concerned that Haiti is the only country that has not started the vaccination yet as well have got some relief. The team of medical experts and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries have put in a great effort for the safe and prompt delivery of the vaccine in Haiti. Apart from the US, Spain, Canada, and other countries as well have donated the vaccine to help Latin American and the Caribbean. The PAHO has been calling out other rich nations as well to come forward and help expand access to vaccines for these regions. As per the report, around 26 million doses of COVID19 vaccines have been delivered to around 31 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Health experts have said that only 14 percent of people living in these regions have completed their vaccine regime. There are some countries in Latin American and the Caribbean that have not been able to vaccinate even 1 percent of their populations.