“When it is your turn to get vaccinated, remember that these vaccines can save your life. Disinformation is one of the most serious threats to public health, and it is even more harmful when vaccine reluctance feeds,” said Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), yesterday.
“Anyone in a vulnerable group who is reluctant to get vaccinated can become part of the sad stats: one of the thousands of deaths that occur every day as a result of COVID-19. Vaccination now saves lives and will help control transmission in the near future,” she said at a press conference. When we achieve high immunization coverage.
She said reports of extremely rare, unexpected side effects of some COVID-19 vaccines should not make people hesitate to get vaccinated. “The vaccines provided through COVAX have been comprehensively reviewed by WHO experts. Etienne noted that the benefits of these vaccines in preventing infection, hospitalization and mortality outweigh the risks of side effects.
“With unreliable information spreading rapidly, the PAHO is working with technology companies such as Twitter, Google and Facebook to address fake news and ensure that the public can easily find accurate information,” the PAHO director added.
No immediate protection
The tragic milestone of more than three million people dying from COVID, nearly half of them in the Pan American region, reminds us, “We need to do more to protect each other because this virus continues to be a threat in every corner and every community in our region,” Etienne said. In the past week alone, the Americas recorded more than 1.5 million new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 40,000 deaths.
COVID vaccines do not provide immediate protection. Our bodies need time to build up immunity to the virus after we are vaccinated and we will not see the full effect until more of us are protected. Let’s not forget that with the limited doses available to us now, saving lives should be the priority. Etienne said that stopping the transmission of this disease requires additional measures.
The PAHO director pointed out that “in Israel, COVID-19 vaccines are already helping to reduce infections, and preliminary data from Chile and some cities in Brazil indicate a decrease in the number of hospital admissions among the elderly, thanks in part to COVID-19 vaccines. “
According to Etienne, the Pan American Health Organization is doing everything it can to get the largest number of vaccines possible in the region as quickly as possible. We have helped deliver more than 4.2 million doses of COVID vaccines to 29 countries in the Americas. Millions of additional vaccinations are planned in the coming weeks. “We will not stop until every country in our region gets the necessary quantities of vaccines,” said the PAHO star.
But she pointed out, “We need more COVID vaccines for our region. We need countries to deliver the doses available to them quickly. We need communities to build confidence in vaccination. And when it is your turn to get vaccinated, remember that these vaccines can save your life.”
“Vaccination Week in the Americas, which begins next week,” is the perfect time to remind us of the power of vaccines to save lives. “Vaccinations are a team effort and the success of vaccination campaigns depends on us all,” Etienne said.