Mexico To Donate Thousands Of COVID-19 Vaccines To Central America

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Personnel from DHL and members of the Mexican army supervise the landing of a plane at Mexico City's International Airport from Cincinnati on June 23, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico, carrying 585,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech biologics, which will be distributed as part of the National Vaccination Plan against COVID-19 in Mexico. (Photo by Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Thurs. June 23, 2021 (Reuters) – Mexico will donate over 400,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses on Thursday to the so-called Northern Triangle Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the Mexican foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The vaccines will be shipped on military flights. Guatemala and Honduras will receive 150,000 doses each, while El Salvador will receive 100,800 shots, the foreign ministry told Reuters.

Only 3.8% of Guatemala’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. In Honduras the percentage is 4.9% and in El Salvador 22.3%, according to figures from Our World in Data.

The three countries have so far received doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik V, Janssen and Sinovac.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on June 9 called on countries to share excess vaccine doses, warning that if the spread of COVID-19 continues at current rates it will be years before the virus is controlled in the Americas.

At the time, PAHO said just 10% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated, with a particularly acute situation in Central American and the Caribbean.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Anthony Esposito; editing by Richard Pullin)