Inequality should be factored into Latin America's COVID-19 vaccine plans - UNESCO


FILE PHOTO: Residents line up in front of the "Busao da Vacina" or Big bus of the vaccine, a project of the Brazilian Red Cross, in partnership with the Minas Gerais state government to vaccinate people against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ouro Branco, Brazil, July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Washington Alves

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Vaccination campaigns against the coronavirus in Latin America should prioritize vulnerable groups such as indigenous people and the homeless, who are at higher risk of dying from the virus, UNESCO said on Tuesday.

Health workers, educators, the elderly and people with pre-existing health risks were given priority in vaccine distribution in Latin America. But the region's gaping economic divisions also need to be considered, an official from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) told Reuters.

"This is the region hardest hit by COVID in the world. And it is a region with a lot of inequality," Guillermo Anllo, regional head for Latin America and the Caribbean of the agency's Scientific, Technological and Innovation Policy Program, said in a telephone interview from his office in Montevideo.

According to UNESCO projections, only a third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean will have been immunized by the end of the year.

Anllo stressed the importance of equity in the distribution of vaccines in a region with seven of the 15 countries in the world with the highest COVID-19 mortality rates.

"It is not enough to say we are going to prioritize those with comorbidities or essential groups. Other variables must be included," Anllo said, referring to indigenous communities, Afro-descendants, migrants and homeless people.

Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are producers of some coronavirus vaccines. But an insufficient number of doses have been produced so far.

(Reporting by Lucila Sigal; writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Algeria's former President Bouteflika dies at 84
Iran's fuel shipments violate Lebanon's sovereignty -PM
Guinea junta says it will not bow to pressure to let president leave
U.S. regrets France's decision to recall ambassador -White House official
Britain acted in opportunistic manner over U.S.-Australia deal -French source
France recalls envoys in U.S, Australia over submarine deal - statement
Salvadoran president rules out allowing abortion, same-sex marriage
WhatsApp instructions, Mexican struggles: How Haitians ended up in Texas camp
Greek PM says Turkey is a key partner on migration, EU needs cohesion
U.S. says Kabul drone strike killed 10 civilians, including children, in 'tragic mistake'

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers