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Canada’s gift will vaccinate 15 000

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Canada’s gift will vaccinate 15 000
Prime Minister Mia Mottley (third from left) with Chargé d’affaires at the High Commission of Canada, Ann Cleminson, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic (left) and Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George after yesterday’s donation of vaccines from Canada to Barbados. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)

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Barbados is now in a position to fully vaccinate another 15 000 of its citizens against COVID-19 after a donation of 30 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the government of Canada.

The gift, which arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday, was handed over to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley by Chargé d’affaires at the High Commission of Canada, Ann Cleminson.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, as I have said repeatedly, that vaccination is the most important and potent layer of protection available to our people,” Prime Minister Mottley said in a press release yesterday.

“The only way we will get our economy firing again at the level that is necessary to support our society is to get our people vaccinated. This gift from the Government of Canada will help to propel us along this path, and I encourage every Barbadian to take advantage of it as quickly as possible.”

The release said Mottley has consistently warned since the start of the pandemic, but especially since the discovery of more virulent strains that have been testing the capacity of countries all over the world, “that developed countries with the wherewithal to dominate purchasing that their people will never be truly safe until people everywhere also have access to the vaccine”.

In addition to this bilateral vaccine donation, Canada has actively supported Barbados throughout the pandemic to respond to the global crisis and facilitate access to vaccines, including, through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, the release said.

The Canadian Armed Forces have provided airlift to transport COVID-19 related humanitarian and medical supplies to the temporary Integrated Regional Logistic Hub in Barbados, and are now working towards the establishment of a permanent logistics hub and training facility in Barbados.

Canada’s regional support to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has also helped the Barbados Defence Force’s Emergency Medical Team establish and equip a COVID-19 isolation facility, which converts to a mobile field hospital for the region in the event of a disaster. (PR)

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