COVID deaths in Barbados reach 21
A 79-year-old Barbadian man has fallen victim to coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the death toll from the viral illness to 21.
Following this death, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic has given the assurance that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been endorsed by the Word Health Organisation (WHO).
“The gentleman was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 7, from where he was sent to Enmore. Two days later, he was transferred to the Harrison Point Isolation Facility where he survived for only two days,” a media statement from the COVID Communications Unit said.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has extended condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased.
While noting that the death occurred on the very day that the ministry rolled out its National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Bostic stressed the value of the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the arsenal in fighting the disease. He said that while questions had been asked about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, it had been endorsed by the WHO as well suited to people over 65.
“This is important given the fact that senior citizens constitute a large percentage of the Barbadian population,” he said.
Some 100 000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, a gift from the Government of India, are to be used in the island’s vaccination programme.
Bostic said the WHO had also indicated this vaccine was proven to have a high level of efficacy. The vaccine was recommended by WHO for use “even in countries that have circulation of the (South African) variant.”
The Minister pointed out that the WHO recommendations also addressed the fact that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine does not require deep subzero temperatures for storage like some of the other vaccines on the market. This makes the vaccine appropriate for use in tropical and developing countries with limited storage capacity.
“While being vaccinated is completely voluntary and a personal choice, health professionals and ministry officials hope that every Barbadian will take this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from the more virulent forms of the illness and reduce the risk of death; this is what the vaccine offers.” (PR)