The White House informed the doses will be donated to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“Biden’s announcement is a good step forward in our drive to get vaccines for our people in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director-General Carissa Etienne said.
“We are grateful for this dose-sharing initiative and encourage other countries with surplus vaccines to donate them to our region, which is currently the hardest hit by the pandemic worldwide,” she added.
Latin America and the Caribbean's foreign trade in 2020 saw its #worst performance since the 2008 global financial crisis, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on economies, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean @deodat_maharajpic.twitter.com/Gnzkrp9OPf
In Latin America, health systems are failing and vaccines are scarce. Over 1 million people have died from COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread faster there than in any other region, according to PAHO.
“We must do all in our power to secure more doses for all nations in the Americas. Regional solidarity... will be key to get us through the current shortage of supply,” Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley recalled.
Nevertheless, over the past year, Washington has only distributed three million doses to other countries, despite the international community’s criticisms that the richest countries are hoarding vaccines while millions of people are dying from the disease.