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Two more COVID deaths

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Two more COVID deaths

Barbados’ death toll from Covid-19 rose to 24 after the death of two women, an 80-year-old Trinidadian and a 75-year-old Barbadian.

The Barbadian passed away on February 12 after spending 3 days in the Primary Isolation Unit of the Harrison Point Isolation Facility. The Trinidadian national passed away on Saturday morning after 15 days on a ventilator in the Unit.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness extended condolences to the grieving families and friends of the deceased.

These deaths occurred as the Ministry of Health and Wellness is moving to take the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme to full roll-out. Some 100 000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, a gift from the Government of India, will be used in the island’s vaccination programme. Some will be shared with other CARICOM countries.

Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic stressed the value of the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the arsenal in fighting the disease. He commented that while questions were asked about the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, it was endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well suited to persons over 65.

“This is important given the fact that senior citizens constitute a large percentage of the Barbadian population.”

Bostic added that WHO also indicated the vaccine was proven to have a high level of efficacy and was recommended by WHO for use “even in countries that have circulation of the (South African) variant”. Up to this point, the Covid-19 vaccine is recommended for people under 18 years old, but research is now ongoing to test the suitability of the AstraZeneca vaccine for minors.

In addition, the Minister pointed out that the WHO recommendations also addressed the fact that the Oxford Astra Zeneca 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.

Bostic said, “while being vaccinated is completely voluntary and a personal choice, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), the nurses of Barbados, other health professionals, and Ministry officials hope that every Barbadian will take this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from the illness, its more virulent forms and reduce the risk of death; this is what the vaccine offers”. (PR/SAT)

Editor’s Note: The total was updated to 24 because a 45-year-old Trinidadian woman who died on Thursday was omitted from the official results.

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