Latin America and Its Global Partners Toil to Procure Medical Supplies as COVID-19 Pushes the Region to Its Limit | Critical Care Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Medical News & Perspectives
June 12, 2020

Latin America and Its Global Partners Toil to Procure Medical Supplies as COVID-19 Pushes the Region to Its Limit

JAMA. 2020;324(3):217-219. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11182

Three and a half months after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) breached Latin America’s borders, a bit of optimism emerged in hard-hit Brazil, where case numbers have surpassed 700 000. Brazilian regulatory authorities on June 2 approved the country’s participation in the University of Oxford’s severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine trial supported by AstraZeneca. Two days later, the Lemann Foundation, which supports public education in Brazil, announced that it would fund half of the country’s 2000 volunteers participating in the initial round of trials.

As the first nation outside of the UK to test the Oxford vaccine, Brazil’s involvement is “an important milestone,” the foundation’s executive director, Denis Mizne, said in a statement. Yet even though Latin America’s largest country is playing a vital role in the worldwide quest for a safe, effective vaccine, the pandemic is further stressing a part of the world that’s already vulnerable from rising levels of poverty and inequality, as well as outbreaks in recent years of Zika virus, chikungunya, measles, and several other infectious diseases.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    1 Comment for this article
    Latin America: A region in two hemispheres
    Carlos Alvarez, MD, PhD, FIDSA | Professor of Medicine at Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Clinica Universitaria Colombia, Clinica Colsanitas
    Latin America is a region in two hemispheres. Although we share culture and language, there are marked contrasts in socioeconomic conditions and health systems among countries, which can make a difference when dealing with a crisis such as the one generated by COVID -19. Furthermore, within each state, there are also discrepancies between the quality of health care between rural and urban areas. In the large cities of Latin America, the level and quality of health care may be like that of the United States. By contrast, in rural areas, difficulties in accessing molecular diagnosis and specialized services in intensive care, and local lack of skilled human resources and infrastructure can make it challenging to confront and mitigate the epidemic. Besides, limitations obtaining adequate supplies on time and at a fair value added to the high informal employment as described by Rubin R et al. can complicate the mitigation and self-care strategies of the general population. Finally, the situation of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile in May and June, could be the right mirror for what could happen in the northern hemisphere in October-December.