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Vaccination in Latin America - Statistics & Facts

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Americas had developed a strong consistency in surpassing global averages for routine vaccination coverage. Particularly, coverage rates against pneumonia (PCV3), the rotavirus, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) were approximately 35 percentage points higher in the Americas, when compared to the global average. However, despite the initiatives in place, one of the biggest hindrances to regional inoculation efforts has been skepticism. For example, around 20 percent of Haitians and 17 percent of Peruvians believed vaccines were dangerous, according to a 2018 survey. This inhibition comes as a major obstacle in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as countries seek to secure vaccines and reopen their economies as fast as possible.

The great unequalizer

By disproportionately affecting economically disadvantaged countries, the coronavirus has played a key role in revealing the world's deepest inequalities. Especially in Latin America, one of the most devastated regions globally by the coronavirus. Some of the region's poorest countries, such as Haiti, have the most physically vulnerable populations to epidemics. In turn, due to a lack of resources, they are also the countries mostly dependent on donations of the coronavirus vaccine. Aiming to solve this problem, the COVAX program is planning to distribute millions of Oxford's AstraZeneca vaccine doses across the region. Requiring fewer storage regulations than the Pfizer vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine has become ideal for traveling long distances to places without the necessary infrastructure.

Latin America’s coronavirus battle

With the world's second-highest coronavirus mortality rate, Brazil has been the top administer of vaccines in the region. However, Chile has become by far the Latin American country with the highest coronavirus vaccination rate, as nearly 60 doses per 100 population had been administered in the first few months of 2021. This initiative comes to the surprise of many Chileans, who at the beginning of the pandemic believed the country was not prepared to protect the population against the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, amidst the region's distribution efforts, critical problems have arisen as Argentina's health minister resigned in early 2021, vaccine theft reports affect Mexico, and some politicians jumped the shot line in Peru.


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