Nicaraguans Seek Vaccines Next Door

nicaraguans-in-honduras
Nicaraguans queue at a customs office in Guasaule, Honduras, on the border between the two countries, to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, on October 25, 2021.(Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images)
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Weds. Oct 26 (Reuters) – Nearly 8,000 Nicaraguans received COVID-19 vaccines at two customs border crossings with neighboring Honduras in recent days, Honduran health authorities said on Monday, as supplies of the inoculations in Nicaragua have run low.

Promoting the vaccines for Nicaraguans, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez wrote in a post on Twitter that “the solidarity and brotherhood of Hondurans crosses borders.” He added that up to 500 doses were being given out daily to Nicaraguans.

Honduran health authorities also pitched the cross-border assistance as a way to help beat back the risk of more infections at home.

“They don’t have access to vaccines in Nicaragua and that becomes a risk for us due to the significant movement of people along the border,” said Honduran regional health official Jose Maria Paguada.

Officials in Nicaragua did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The border vaccines doled out in Honduras’ southwestern Choluteca department utilize donated inoculations made by Moderna and Pfizer, and will go through Nov. 6 for first doses, with second doses to follow, Honduran officials said.

To date, Honduras has confirmed more than 370,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 10,200 deaths as a result of the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Additional reporting by Ismael Lopez; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)