Nicaraguans travel to Honduran border for vaccination
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – Honduras, one of the last countries in Central America to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, has designated part of its stockpile for citizens of neighboring Nicaragua as fewer Hondurans line up for to get vaccinated.
Since Monday, Nicaraguans have flocked to Nicaraguan border towns to get vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna, rather than the Cuban and Russian vaccines offered in their own country.
The Honduran government has reserved 100,000 doses for Nicaraguans and has set up various vaccination sites for them along the border. In San Marcos de Colon alone, more than 4,000 doses were administered Monday through Wednesday.
Deputy Health Minister Fredy Guillén said on Wednesday that the vaccine inventory that Honduras has accumulated through donations and purchases “gives us the opportunity to make available around 500 vaccines (doses) per day for Nicaragua. (and) other neighboring countries “.
Honduras has received more than 5 million doses since October, he said, adding that 58% of eligible Hondurans had received a first dose and 40% were fully immunized.
As fewer and fewer Hondurans sought the vaccine, there was a risk that the doses would expire.
“It would be terrible if Honduras had vaccines about to expire and it is better to use them on a neighboring population,” said Blanca Munguía, director of health at the non-governmental organization Association for a More Just Society.
Honduras has more than 7 million people over the age of 12 who would be eligible for vaccination. So far 6.7 million doses have been applied, according to the health ministry.
Nicaraguans are not normally barred from entering Honduras, but due to the pandemic they are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, which can cost $ 150. For this reason, many entered Honduras illegally – some on horseback or by boat – between official ports of entry to be vaccinated.