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PAHO ‘very concerned’ about anti-vaccine movement impact on Caribbean

Cayman Islands (Loop): Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis Dr Marcos Espinal said PAHO is “very concerned” about the impact of the anti-vaxxer movement on the eventual rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean.

He made the comment during the PAHO COVID-19 media conference in response to a question from Loop Caribbean.

“The anti-vaxxer movement is not only related to COVID but exists before,” he said. “And in Latin America and the Caribbean, several factors contribute to this. Basically influencer groups and individuals of influence who promote the anti-vaccine [movement], and lack of education and information in low socio-economic groups.”

He said it is therefore very important that national immunisation programmes continue educating the public about the benefits.

Espinal added: “Vaccines are highly efficacious, they are very beneficial, they have saved millions of children, they have prevented millions from (contracting) vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, Diptheria, yellow fever, and several other diseases

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