Bahamas seeks to borrow 20,000 doses of vaccine from Caribbean neighbor – Eye Witness News
Bahamas could receive slice of US donated doses of Pfizer this week
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas is seeking to borrow 20,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from a neighboring Caribbean country, according to Health Minister Renward Wells.
Wells said countries in the region have been given the green light from the World Health Organization (WHO) to transfer vaccines as and when needed to the Caribbean.
The government recently borrowed 5,000 doses from Antigua and Barbuda.
Eyewitness News understands that the additional 20,000 doses will come from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The minister was unable to say how soon the additional 20,000 doses could arrive in the Bahamas.
âWe have 87,000 doses. We have since vaccinated over 90,000 people, âWells said yesterday outside Calvary Deliverance Church.
âWe have received vaccines from one of our sisterly Caribbean countries and we are looking for more.
âAnd we’re also working to see how we can make sure we get our last installment of vaccine – the 33,600 plus doses – from the COVAX facility, from PAHO (Pan American Health Organization).
“I think by the end of July we will also be receiving this AstraZeneca.”
According to Wells, the United States is also expected to donate a slice of Pfizer vaccine next week through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
“We were alerted to this fact and were probably looking by the second week of July to receive Pfizer,” he said.
âThis is what is projected to be offered, so hopefully at that point we have a set date when we can get back to the people of the Bahamas and let them know.
âAnd by the way, we now have the capacity across the country to store Pfizer in the vaccination center. “
As of July 2, 95,992 doses of AstraZeneca had been administered in the Bahamas.
Wells said he believes more Bahamians have stepped forward to get vaccinated in part because of a global trend.
The Delta variant
Wells argued that it is not a question of if but when the Delta variant arrives on the shores of the Bahamas.
“We suspect, as I said from March of this year, that we believe we have one of the five worrying variants in the country and the initial tests showed that we have a variant, but we have sent samples. , who [weâre] still awaiting results, âhe said.
âUltimately, we know that there are at least five variants of concern – namely UK, South Africa, Brazil and India now have two, both the Delta variant and the other Indian variant.
âBut the good news, as I told the people of the Bahamas, is this – we know AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, the vaccines that are being rolled out have been effective against all five variants of concern.
“And so, we’re just going ahead with our immunization program.”
When asked if the presence of the Delta variant could impact the competent authority’s plans to end the state of emergency in the Bahamas next month, Wells said the government continues to assess the situation on the advice of health professionals.