COVID-19 cases tripled in the Americas in 2021, but millions now protected thanks to vaccine

(Photo via PAHO)

(PAHO Press Release) – While COVID-19 infections tripled in 2021 and health systems struggled to cope, “we have learned what it takes to bring this virus under control,” and must urgently address gaps in vaccine access to ensure everyone is protected, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne urged.

“When we compare 2020 to 2021, this year was undoubtedly worse,” with more than 98 million infections and 2.3 million lives lost, the Director said in a media briefing today.

As the second year of the pandemic draws to a close, Dr. Etienne called on the region to employ all resources available to bring the virus under control, including vaccines, masks, social distancing and surveillance.

Today more than 1.3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the Americas, and 56% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated.

But despite this coverage, the Director warned that “millions in our region have yet to receive a single dose.”

“Vaccine inequity continues to divide our region and if we don’t address these glaring gaps, we’ll fail to bring this virus under control,” she warned.

Read more at: Pan American Health Organisation

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