By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. June 4, 2021: After months of ignoring the pleas for COVID-19 vaccines by their Third Border neighbors, the Caribbean, the Joe Biden administration has now agreed to open up and share a stash with the region and Latin America, as well as with the world.
President Biden on Thursday said the US will share up to 80 million does with the world. Of that, at least six million doses will go to both Latin America and the Caribbean. Latin America is home to over 600 million people and the Caribbean has a population of 44 million.
It is unclear how many will go to the Caribbean exactly through the regional public health agency, CARPHA, as the region has a smaller per capita rate than Latin America, which had been more decimated by the COVID-19 virus than the Caribbean region. The US will also separately give vaccines to Haiti, a White House briefing said Thursday even as Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday that the United States will supply half a million COVID-19 doses to the Central American country. That leaves 5.5 million for the rest of the entire region, including the Caribbean.
At a press briefing officials from the COVID-19 response team and public health officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration will be working closely with CARPHA, the public health authority in the Caribbean, who will be making some of the key determinations for where the doses are allocated.
The Biden administration has been under pressure to share doses from the nation’s vaccine stockpile, particularly as the pandemic recedes in the United States while continuing to surge abroad.
On Thursday, the Us’ Caribbean roots Vice President, Kamala Harris, spoke to Vice President Kamala D. Harris spoke this morning to Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to notify him that the Biden-Harris Administration will begin sharing the first 25 million doses of COVID vaccines to their respective countries and others, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccines globally by the end of June.
The Vice President reiterated that the Administration’s efforts are focused on achieving broad global coverage, responding to surges and other urgent situations and public health needs, and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines.
China, Russia and India have been the only countries donating vaccines to the Caribbean, which has largely managed to contain the virus but has seen rise in places like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago.
The US has so far only shared just over four million doses of vaccines with Canada and Mexico only. The first from the 80 million doses donation will go to Asia.