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Amazon communities get COVID-19 vaccination

Amazon communities get COVID-19 vaccination

Amazon communities get COVID-19 vaccination

Health care workers are deploying to outlying communities in the vast state of Amazonas to vaccinate some of the region’s most vulnerable populations.

Most jungle communities have primitive medical facilities badly equipped to provide medical care to locals infected with COVID-19, making vaccinations an urgent need to curb rising caseloads.

A group of nurses, community social workers and a security escort reached João do Tupé, Tuesday morning, some 25 kilometres downriver from the capital of Manaus with dozens of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

It can be difficult to convince residents of these remote communities that taking the vaccine is an effective way to stave off the spread of COVID-19, which has devasted many riverside communities.

“We want to vaccinate everybody in this part of the Rio Negro, as I said before, some accept and some don’t. So, we think we can get more or less 80% of the elderly to take the vaccine,” Luciana Da Costa said after arriving in João do Tupé, a village of 5000 people on the Rio Negro and adjacent to a large forest reserve.

Vaccination is considered a fundamental key in Amazonas, a state that has become the epicentre of Brazil’s COVID-19 health crisis.

A particularly brutal second wave of infections and the rapid spread of a new variant of the virus have put the state’s already fragile public healthcare system under immense pressure.

Official health ministry data shows a death rate of 224 per 100,000 in the state, almost double the country’s average of 114 per 100,000.

Experts believe a new COVID-19 variant detected earlier this year in Manaus, both more contagious and less vulnerable to some treatments, is behind the spike in hospitalizations.

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