Haiti, which has so far relatively escaped the epidemic, is recording an increase in Kovid-19 cases after coming to the holidays of expatriate citizens, not to mention that the country will launch a vaccination campaign for several months.
“The increase we are seeing is mainly due to the travelable population, the more affluent population, especially young people coming from Florida and polluting their parents and their grandparents here, parents,” Haitian epidemiologist Dr William Pep told AFP on Wednesday.
Despite the health crisis, traditional large end-of-year concerts are held every night in the Haitian capital, usually bringing together hundreds of crowds who do not respect any barrier measures.
The low impact of the epidemic in Haiti was a happy surprise of the year for the country in the grip of a deep socio-political crisis and an increase in kidnappings for redemption by armed gangs.
Because of the low number of tests performed, official figures are underestimated, indicating that Haiti has recorded only 9,999 patients for 236 deaths since March.
If the country is on the Kovacs initiative, developed by the WHO to obtain vaccines for 92 low-income and middle-income countries, it will be several months before the campaign starts in the country.
Under an agreement with the government, the Kovacs program will support vaccinating 20% of the Haitian population, or 2.5 million residents.
“The government has not yet decided on the type of vaccine, it wants to verify so we can buy them. It may take a few more months, if not more, but it will have an impact,” Bruno Mess, a UNICEF spokesman in Haiti, told AFP.
“We have not only the vaccine, but also the syringes and all the equipment needed to complete the cold chain in the country and we also need the cash to set up the logistics plan: the country is mountainous, the population is scattered across all segments,” Mr Mays stressed.
While doses of Pfitzer / Bioentech vaccine require storage at -70 C, the Haitian scientific community is hoping for options that meet the limitations of a poor country with a tropical climate.
“A vaccine that can be stored at room temperature, such as the cholera vaccine, is a one-dose vaccine for us,” Dr. Pape advises.