Future of Haiti vaccination program still uncertain

Haitians eager to get cholera vaccines before the upcoming rainy season may have to continue waiting to receive the potentially lifesaving shots. A large-scale vaccination program in the country remains on hold.

Most elements of the program are in place: There are more than $400,000 worth of cholera vaccines in stock, hundreds of health workers have been trained for the campaign and some 100,000 Haitians have signed up to receive the vaccine. But the roll out of the program, which is sponsored by Partners in Health and Gheskio Center, was interrupted after it was met with opposition from local officials and health experts. Haiti’s previous government was also opposed to cholera vaccination, in general, according to NPR.

But the country’s new president, Michel Martelly, supports such a campaign and his government has given the green light. Haiti’s National Ethics Committee is now seeking revised proposals to continue the vaccination campaign. NPR says the process could take at least four weeks but proponents are hoping it could be accelerated.

Aid groups and organizers of the campaign, NPR says, are eager to roll it out before April, which is when Haiti’s heaviest rains are expected to fall.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.