Haitians Eagerly Line Up for Covid-19 Vaccines

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Haitians Eagerly Line Up for Covid-19 Vaccines” – below is their description.

On Tuesday, Haitians headed to clinics as healthcare professionals enter their second week of vaccinating frontline workers and people over the age of 50 with pre-existing conditions against COVID-19.

After months of not having any vaccines in the country, the United States donated 500,000 doses through the U.N.-backed COVAX program, an initiative devised to give countries access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their wealth.

Rolling out a large-scale vaccination campaign is difficult anywhere in the world, but Haiti’s current political turmoil after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise earlier this month and the general atmosphere of insecurity that plagues the country due to gang violence only makes the task even more daunting.

Adding to that are widespread unsubstantiated rumors and misinformation among the population that the vaccines aren’t safe. Preliminary results of a UNICEF-supported perception study conducted by the University of Haiti in June, only 22 per cent of all Haitians would accept to be vaccinated.

To counter this, Haiti’s Ministry of Health along with UNICEF are conducting a campaign through organized community groups, religious organizations and local media to overcome the general population’s hesitancy and help educate them about the benefits of being inoculated.

UNICEF is also assisting with transportation and strengthening the refrigeration available across the Caribbean nation by distributing more than 900 solar fridges to keep the vaccines at their proper temperature.

Haiti has reported 19,876 confirmed cases and 528 deaths as it struggles to fight against COVID-19. The current wave has overburdened the country’s already precarious health system and forced many hospitals to turn away patients.

Enold Theirsaint, an 80-year-old resident who was at the St. Damien hospital vaccine staging area said he was there because he has high blood sugar and thought it best to get his jab.

“I am vulnerable as I suffer from high blood sugar but they (Haitian people) don’t take this illness seriously.”

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