Haiti has not yet received a single dose of vaccine for its 11 million people over a year after the pandemic started.
Haiti was set to receive 756,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through a United Nations (UN) program. The UN aimed to give COVID-19 vaccines to the “neediest countries.”
The free doses were scheduled to arrive in May, however, delays were to be expected as Haiti only recently the needed documents for processing the shipping order.
“Haiti has only recently completed some of the essential documentation that are prerequisites for processing of a shipping order,” said Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a Geneva-based public-private partnership that was co-managing the U.N.-backed COVAX effort.
Haiti’s Healthy Ministry Director-General Lauré Adrien raised another problem on where to store the vaccine doses.
“If I have three million doses of vaccines, first do we find a safe place for storage? Second do we the capacity to use all the doses before they expire? Because when you received the vaccines and started using them, they could expire. We have to know all these details before we can start receiving the vaccines and saying that it’s available for people to get the vaccines,” Adrien said.