Friday, February 26, 2021

Colombia hospitals overwhelmed under second wave of coronavirus

Q COLOMBIA – Amid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals in Colombia are getting overrun and havoc is reigning across the country, as overworked healthcare professionals are feeling the crunch as the government recently announced its vaccination campaign will not start until the end of February.

Colombia’s plan to vaccinate over 35 million people against the coronavirus this year could face delays, President Ivan Duque said, even as he reiterated his confidence pharmaceutical companies will meet delivery deadlines.

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The government said last week it had secured 61.5 million vaccine doses from a raft of pharmaceutical companies and via the COVAX, the WHO backed scheme and plans to inoculate 70% of its 50 million population to reach herd immunity.

But, the plans could face delays, including those caused by potential export limits placed on vaccines by other countries and a low uptake of shots amid circulating disinformation.

Some 190 countries and territories that are participating in COVAX have been awaiting details of the rollout. The participants include self-financing countries that have put up the money.

WHO officials have consistently said the way to beat the pandemic is to make sure that everyone is safe from it not just those in wealthier countries that launched vaccination drives in December.

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COVAX has faced challenges as rich countries have scooped up vaccine supplies, sometimes at premium prices, and undercut WHO’s goal of equitable vaccine distribution. Program leaders have faced issues trying to strike deals with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and only a fraction of the 2 billion doses that have been secured for COVAX involve firm deals.

With reports from Reuters and AP

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