The White House’s announcement last month that the United States will offer millions of coronavirus vaccines to its two immediate neighbors, Mexico and Canada, is a welcome step toward the reversal of the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. But for humanitarian, economic and strategic reasons, it must be just the first step toward an intentional program of U.S. leadership to vaccinate the Americas. In the global struggle against COVID-19, Latin American and Caribbean countries have fallen behind. Weak health systems, uncertain leadership, high numbers of informal workers and bad luck have created a perfect storm in the region. Even as […]

A woman is inoculated with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as her grandson stands nearby, Santiago, Chile, March 31, 2021 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

Before a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Chile was being lauded in the international press for its remarkable progress in vaccinating its population against the coronavirus. Soaring caseloads in recent weeks have dampened that narrative of success, but the fact remains that this small, relatively well-off Latin American nation is moving faster to inoculate its citizens than almost any other country in the world. Meanwhile, nearby Paraguay, where scarce shots generated public outrage against the government’s handling of the pandemic, has emerged in the media as a poster child of Latin America’s poor performers. Both countries share common features with […]