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Omicron slamming S. American hospitals as workers fall ill

Andrew Cuomo

By DÉBORA ÁLVARES and ALMUDENA CALATRAVA
Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The coronavirus’ omicron variant is barreling across South America and pressuring hospitals whose employees are getting infected and taking sick leave, leaving facilities understaffed to cope with COVID-19′s third wave. It wasn’t supposed to be this way: South America wasn’t the first region to gain access to vaccines, but uptake was eager as soon as they were available. About two-thirds of its roughly 435 million residents are fully immunized, the highest percentage of any global region’s residents. And health workers in Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina have already been receiving booster shots. But omicron is defying vaccines and, with people out and about enjoying their summers and spreading the virus, many medical staff are taking sick leave.

Associated Press

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