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Covid-19: PAHO calls for Americas to reverse vaccination setbacks caused by pandemic

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2344 (Published 28 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2344
  1. Luke Taylor
  1. Bogota

Senior officials at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have called for renewed efforts to vaccinate the Americas, as setbacks caused by the covid pandemic have left the region vulnerable to preventable diseases.

Members of the World Health Organization’s Americas branch told the 30th Pan American Sanitary conference held in Washington, DC, that hard earned health gains made in recent decades, particularly in vaccination, had been reversed in the past two years as focus shifted to the pandemic. Rates of vaccination against preventable diseases have either stalled or declined in all countries of the region, and vaccination coverage against several illnesses has reached historic lows.

The resurgence of serious diseases showed why countries must work hard to reverse vaccination losses, said Sebastian Garcia Saiso, director of PAHO’s Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health, as the latest edition of PAHO’s Health in the Americas report was unveiled.1 He told the conference, “The pandemic has directly and indirectly affected the health of people and threatened progress against various diseases. We hope the publication will help decision makers …

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