Haiti Seeing COVID Cases Rise While Waiting for 1st Vaccine Doses

(Thursday, June 10, 2021) – As many other countries were ravaged by COVID-19 last year, Haiti suffered only a mild outbreak of the virus.  That has apparently changed now for the Caribbean island nation.  Health officials say new cases are now surging in Haiti, the poorest country in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The Pan American Health Organization says more virulent variants have taken hold in recent weeks, leading to sharply escalating cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Haiti is reporting more than 16,000 cases and 350 fatalities.

Haiti has yet to administer any COVID vaccines.  Haiti reportedly initially rejected shipments of vaccine doses through the United Nations-back Covax initiative because of possible side effects and worry about proper vaccine storage.  The island nation is now expected to get its first shipment of 130,000 doses next week.

But doctors reportedly say the challenge will be convincing Haitians to actually take the shot.