By Jim Wyss for Bloomberg
Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, has earned another grim distinction: it’s the only one that hasn’t vaccinated a single resident against Covid-19.
One of a handful of nations worldwide still awaiting vaccines, Haiti was among the 92 poor and middle-income countries offered doses under the Covax Facility. But the government initially declined AstraZeneca PLC shots, citing side effects and widespread fears in the population.
“Haiti did not reject the offer of vaccines from Covax,” Haiti Ministry of Health General Director Laure Adrien said in a telephone interview. “All we asked was that they change the vaccine they were providing us.”
By last month the equation had shifted. Fears about AstraZeneca were subsiding just as Haiti was seeing a surge in cases. When the country finally agreed to receive the doses, production issues in India and a spike in global demand made them unavailable. continue reading