Unless Guatemala picks up its pace, experts say coronavirus vaccine doses yet to be administered will expire next month.
“Unfortunately, due to impunity and corruption in our country, we are not heard and we have to head into the streets. Resources do not reach us. We do not have protective equipment. We do not have medications to treat the population.”
Sandra Cuffe writes in Al Jazeera about the challenges facing the rollout of COVID vaccines in Guatemala and the effect that this has on the population. Not surprisingly, corruption and incompetence are central to the problem.
COVID-19 vaccinations got off to a late and rocky start in Guatemala, driving growing discontent over vaccine access, pandemic management and alleged corruption issues. Initially, the problem was getting vaccines into the country but now the issue is getting doses into arms before they expire.
Vaccine inequity between higher- and lower-income countries is an ongoing global concern but disparities also exist across Latin America. While jabs are well under way in four countries, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala lag far behind as they some of the lowest vaccination rates in the region.
There are political and technical reasons for Guatemala’s vaccine woes, explained Oscar Chavez, the director of Laboratorio de Datos, a non-governmental group founded last year to disseminate and analyse data related to the pandemic and propose solutions.
“It is a management crisis,” Chavez told Al Jazeera. “The problem here is that when there were no vaccines, [the government] did not prepare cold storage, vaccine centres, or personnel.”
You can read the full article here, Anger grows in Guatemala over COVID vaccine rollout, corruption.