Low vaccination and doctors warn of new variants of COVID-19

Managua, Jul 21 (VOA) – Updated data from the Pan American Health Organization show that only 2.43% of the Nicaraguan population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is equivalent to a little more than 162,000 people.

Consequently, the government promise to immunize more than half or reach 70% of the population by 2021 is becoming increasingly distant.

PAHO notes that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health has applied more than 400,000 doses in four months since the vaccination day began, and that number includes more than 250,000 Nicaraguans who were inoculated with the first dose.

However, medical specialists maintain that the day is progressing too slowly, especially due to the presence of new variants of COVID-19 in Central America.

A Nicaraguan health worker of the Multidisciplinary Scientific Committee who preferred anonymity told the Voice of America that the number of vaccines “is very little” and that has to do with the countries’ access to them.

“(The mechanism) COVAX has not been able to fulfill all its commitments and we are unaware of the agreements of the Ministry of Health for the purchase of doses. The Sputnik (Russian vaccine against COVID-19) are arriving but we do not know how many doses or accounts will arrive in the future, “he explained.

Meanwhile, the independent COVID-19 Citizen Observatory reported the restart of the so-called “express burials” in the Departments of Chinandega, Madriz and Managua. They claim that it was reported that they went quickly or at night, and in some cases with the presence of health personnel wearing protective suits.

Dr. José Luis Borges, from the Nicaraguan Medical Unit, warned of a re-outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, also driven by the presence of new variants.

“We already have them because the transfer of people between the two borders is daily and continuous. These strains are already in Nicaragua ”, he affirmed.

In his opinion, “the problem is that the secrecy and lack of testing and monitoring of cases in Nicaragua makes it difficult, and the government’s attitude is negligent.”

Nicaragua is the only country in Central America that has not identified the SAR-CoV-2 variants, despite the fact that since May it has the necessary molecular screening equipment to do so.

The government has also not publicly reported whether the country has plans to identify the variants and has not commented on the arrival of the specialized equipment donated to Nicaragua.

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