WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - More than 1.2 million people contracted COVID-19 in the Americas in the past week due to a surge complicated by a shortage of vaccines, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said on Tuesday.
"We do not yet have the vaccines we need to protect everyone," Etienne said in a press release. "It’s what happens when the whole world must rely on too few manufacturers. We must also find ways to share vaccines more equitably among countries."
In the past week, 31,272 people died from COVID-10 in the Americas, and more than 1.2 million people were infected, Etienne said.
The pandemic is particularly dire in South America, where infection is reported to be spiking in Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and in the Caribbean nations of Cuba, Aruba, Curacao, and Antigua and Barbuda, Etienne added.
Thus far, more than 155.8 million doses of a vaccine have been delivered to the Americas and immunization campaigns are underway in 33 of 35 nations that are members of PAHO.
PAHO said it is also assisting the two member countries, Haiti and Cuba, that have yet to begin immunization campaigns.