Systematic documentation of the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean

Jimbo-Sotomayor et al.


To document the process of introducing COVID-19 vaccines in a selection of Latin American and Caribbean countries, including the lessons learned and the strengths and weaknesses, and similarities and differences among programs. 


This descriptive study is based on a systematic evaluation of the process of introducing COVID-19 vaccines in Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru. Data were collected through a questionnaire distributed to key stakeholders. Six informants from each of the included countries participated in this study. The period of the study was from December 2021 through September 2022. 


The main strengths reported by countries were health workers’ commitment to delivering vaccinations, evidence- based decision-making, the development of plans for vaccine introduction, the participation of national immunization technical advisory groups, the availability of economic resources and positive actions from the respective Ministry of Health. The main challenges were the actions of antivaccination groups, problems with electronic immunization registries, a lack of vaccines, delays in the delivery of vaccines and the scarcity of health personnel at the local level. 


Commitment, the participation of multiple sectors, the availability of resources and preparedness planning were some of the many strengths shown by countries introducing COVID-19 vaccines. Weaknesses included third parties’ interests, the lack of information systems and difficulty in accessing vaccines and vaccine services. There is a window of opportunity for countries to maintain the good practices that allowed for the processes’ strengths and to assess the identified weaknesses to invigorate immunization programs and prepare for future health crises.

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