Barbados receives third batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines
Barbados has been praised for its handling of COVID-19 vaccinations so far.
PAHO/WHO representative Dr Yitades Gebre said today Barbados was one of the more positive stories in the Caribbean.
“Approximately 351 million people have completed their vaccination schedule in the Americas with 44 per cent from Latin America and the Caribbean [however] only 22.2 per cent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean have actually completed their vaccination schedule.
“There is good news in progress in Barbados, where one in three persons are fully vaccinated with the vaccination coverage increasing by twofold since May.
“If vaccines are widely available and accepted by the most skeptical and hesitant of the population, Barbados should achieve the target of 40 per cent by the end of September and maintain a 60 per cent immune population [by] 2022,” he said.
Gebre was one of the speakers as Barbados received its third and final batch of 33 600 coronavirus AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility today at the Grantley Adams International Airport. Representatives of the European Union, United States, Japan, Britain, Canada and the United Nations (UN) were present for the arrival of the vaccines.
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic expressed gratitude to COVAX and GAVI, saying Barbadians now had three choices for their first jab. He said it was heartening to see so many Barbadians getting the Pfizer vaccine – 2 300 – and he hoped people would continue to get vaccinated in large numbers.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said vaccines were an integral step in the battle against COVID-19 but masks, physical distancing and keeping hands clean and sanitised were also important.
She said there was no room for slacking as those who became tired of keeping their guard up risked becoming a statistic.
Mottley said Barbados could not have gotten to this point on its own and neither could Government win the fight against COVID-19 without public support.
She also urged members of the UN to ensure they embraced all countries as they headed into their climate change conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
“I pray as the UN meets, we will find it in us to recognise that unless we can secure the weakest nation state and the farthest populations of the earth, we are going to be here, regrettably, for a few more years . . . . It makes no sense us going to Glasgow in November if we are going to lose the battle against the COVID pandemic,” she said. (CA)