Haiti – COVID-19 : The refusal of the AstraZeneca vaccine donation could cost Haiti millions of dollars
On Wednesday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said it was offering detailed information on the safety of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Venezuela and Haiti so that they reconsider their decision not to receive and accept the doses distributed by the United Nations COVAX mechanism.
Haiti and Venezuela expressed doubts about the AstraZeneca vaccination after very rare cases of blood clots reported in people who had received them in Europe and led some countries to suspend the application of this vaccine on the precautionary principle.
The European Medicines Agency recently said blood clots with low platelet counts should be included as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The World Health Organization has recommended that it continue to be administered. “All vaccines and drugs carry a risk of side effects. In this case, the risks of serious illness and death from Covid-19 are several times higher than the very small risks from the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization,
“The most important thing is to have access to vaccines as quickly as possible… to save lives […] We are working with these countries to clarify, provide, share the information we have that justifies the use of this vaccine” PAHO Deputy Director Jarbas Barbosa said in a virtual press conference.
He said Haiti is one of the twelve countries in the Americas that will receive vaccines free of charge “Until now, the Haitian Government has informed us that it does not wish to receive AstraZeneca vaccines […] https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-33423-haiti-flash-haiti-refuses-a-donation-of-756-000-doses-of-the-who-astrazeneca-vaccine.html if Haiti confirms that “it does not want to receive them, these vaccines will be given to other countries,” emphasizing “there is no option to change these doses by another vaccine for the countries which receive them in the form of donations as requested by the Haitian Ministry of Public Health https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-33448-haiti-health-the-minister-of-health-wants-another-vaccine-than-astrazeneca.html
Recalling that unlike Haiti, Venezuela buys vaccines (already $60 million mobilized) and can therefore choose from a basket of vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), which are distributed by COVAX.
What should be remembered from this statement is that if Haiti confirms its refusal to accept the donation of 756,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, there is no possibility for Haiti to opt to donate another vaccine by COVAX. Consequently, Haiti will have to spend millions of dollars if it wants another vaccine of its choice to purchase them and vaccinate the population.
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