Haiti, reeling from the assassination of its president and the coronavirus pandemic, has received its first half-million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund said Thursday. UNICEF said in a statement the doses were donated by the U.S. and delivered Wednesday through COVAX, an initiative for the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. “Until yesterday, Haiti was the only country in the Americas without a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” Haiti was the only country in the Americas without a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. On July 14, 500,000 doses of vaccine donated by the U.S government through COVAX landed in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: © UNICEF/UN0489198/Fils Guillau)The initial batch of vaccines came after the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise by an armed hit-squad in his heavily guarded private home. Moise’s death occurred amid a period of heightened political instability and gang violence in the country. His assassination has raised fears of another surge in COVID-19 cases, according to the Pan American Health Organization. U.S. President Joe Biden promised in June to deliver 80 million doses worldwide by the end of the month. His administration plans to donate an additional 500 million doses globally in the next year, and 200 million by the end of 2021. COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Margaret Besheer at the United Nations contributed to this report. Some information also came from Agence France-Presse and Associated Press.  

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