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Boat, snowmobile, camel. The vaccine reaches far corners of the world

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Health providers shocked by the sea’s 40-degree winds of late last month arrived in the North Atlantic in the Maine Islands to get coronavirus vaccines.

When they landed on Little Cranberry Island, a town of 65 people, the locals danced in excitement.

“It’s a historic day for the island,” said Caitlin Miller, who joined her friend, “I’m not giving up.” From the Broadway show Hamilton when the crew arrived.

All over the world, extra effort and ingenuity are needed to ensure that the vaccine reaches remote locations. This means that it is transported by boat to the islands of Alaska by boat, through difficult waterways through the Brazilian city of Amazonas. By the end of the day, drones, motorcycles, elephants, horses and camels will be used to reach far corners of the world, says UNICEF vaccine director Robin Nand.

“This is unprecedented in that in the same calendar year we are trying to supply new vaccines to all countries of the world,” he said.

Although the spread of vaccines is variegated in most parts of the world, some places are still waiting for their first doses, and there is an urgent need to vaccinate people in hard-to-reach areas who may not have had COVID-19 outbreaks but may not be well-equipped if they do.

“It’s a race against the clock,” said Sharon Daley, medical director of the Maine Seacoast Mission, which provides shooting in seven islands off the coast of Maine.

And while coronavirus vaccinations can present unique challenges, including adequate refrigeration, health care providers are successful in building the infrastructure they use to vaccinate children against measles and other diseases, Nandi said.

In rugged southwestern Alaska, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. hired planes and snowmobiles to deliver the vaccine to nearly 40 villages across the Oregon-sized area this winter.

Vaccination efforts began there in December, when the temperature was still minus 20 or minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 to minus 34 degrees Celsius), and workers had to make sure the vaccine did not freeze in the syringe needles. Despite the challenges, the health corporation delivered thousands of doses to 47 villages in one month. In one village, residents were suffering after COVID-19 killed one person and infected two, including a local health worker.

“People were really desperate to get vaccinated there. It was quite exciting if I could somehow bring them something, protect them,” said Dr. Ellen Hodges, chief of staff at the health corporation.

In India, workers recently traveled to the small village of Bahakajar, a small village along the mighty Brahmaputra River in the small northeastern state of Assam, to begin vaccinating its nearly 9,000 inhabitants.

The vaccines were first sent to the nearby town of Morigao before driving their last leg. People from a nearby island were brought to a health center by boat, and men and women in bright sarees lined up for vaccinations. At the end of the day, 67 were shot, and within the next three days, officials planned to vaccinate 800 of them.

In Brazil, remote communities in the Amazon posed a challenge that meant traveling for hours on small planes and boats. As in remote areas, the vaccine was available in rural areas, as most jungle communities have only basic medical facilities that are not equipped to treat severe COVID-19 cases.

Just like in other parts of the world, including the United States, paramedics have had to overcome the challenge of convincing some villagers that shooting is safe.

“Vaccine fluctuations are a complex issue; it’s extremely important that high-quality information be made available to all segments of society,” said GAVI, formerly the Global Vaccine Alliance, a spokesperson for GAVI that focuses on improving vaccines. in poor countries.

There was calm in Maine when the Marine Missionary Mission undertook to deliver the vaccine to the islands.

Getting to the mainland in the best conditions for the islanders would mean a day trip to get the vaccine. Severe weather can delay ferries and mail boats, leaving residents stranded for days. And some are too weak to travel.

“Life on the islands is far away. And it is isolated. “And I think that isolation is ‘attractiveness’, the basis of the challenge,” said av avodni, head of the aco vast mission.

On the last day, it was windy to pick up a ship equipped with a mission medical ship, so a smaller one was used. The team also booked a lobster boat for a short voyage to the Lesser Cranberry Islands.

The islanders are accustomed to some degree of isolation, but this winter was especially hard on Little Cranberry Island, as the community could not even hold their own dinners or other regular gatherings due to coronavirus restrictions, said Lindsey Eisnogl, who has been teaching the island to five children. Second grade from K.

The vaccine gives hope that islanders can return to normal.

“Omigosh, we are so excited,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s just a relief. “

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Associated Press writer Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska and photographer Anupam Knut in Bahakakar, India contributed to this report.

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