The Pan American Well being Group has struck a take care of the Chinese language producer Sinovac to buy tens of millions of Covid-19 vaccines for nations in Latin America and the Caribbean as a part of an effort to make extra photographs out there in a area the place entry has been very unequal.

The company, a part of the World Well being Group, is negotiating with two different producers and anticipating to announce new offers quickly, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, its assistant director, stated at a information convention Wednesday.

Sinovac has provided to promote 8.5 million doses this 12 months and an extra 80 million in 2022, he stated. International locations within the area that need the vaccine must purchase it from the well being group.

“It is a buy, it isn’t a donation,” Dr. Barbosa stated, noting that the Inter-American Growth Financial institution is providing loans to nations that want them.

The direct purchases start at a time when, on common, solely 35 p.c of the inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean has been totally vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, the director of the company, stated, noting that the protection has been very unequal.

Whereas some nations, together with Chile and Uruguay, have totally vaccinated over 70 p.c of their populations, she stated, others have but to achieve the 20 p.c mark. These nations are: the Bahamas, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. Haiti is a very dire case, she stated, with lower than 1 p.c of the inhabitants totally vaccinated.

The well being group can also be working to develop vaccine manufacturing within the area, and final week introduced {that a} facility in Brazil and one other in Argentina will obtain technical help to start manufacturing of messenger RNA vaccines, the sort used within the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna photographs.

However in the intervening time, “vaccine donations stay the quickest approach to help nations in our area,” Dr. Etienne stated.