Barbados has boosted its supply of COVID-19 vaccines with a second shipment of Sinopharm vaccines from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
The consignment of 30,000 doses arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport on Friday, and were officially handed over to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. They were purchased under the National Vaccination Fund, which was established earlier this year by Government.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Janet Phillips, and Co-Coordinator of the National Vaccination Programme, Major David Clarke, were on hand to receive the vaccines, along with China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Yan Xiusheng.
Speaking with the Barbados Government Information Service after the handover, Dr. George said the uptake has been satisfactory. He disclosed that 4,171 persons had been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm as at October 1.
This vaccine is given in two doses, with a three to four-week period between each dose.
Dr. George added that this purchase of additional vaccines would allow for at least another 30,000 persons to be vaccinated against the highly contagious novel coronavirus.
The first batch of 30,000 doses of Sinopharm, which arrived on the island in June, was donated to Barbados by the Chinese government.
The Chief Medical Officer maintained that the vaccines had a good safety profile, and were “comparable with respect to their efficacy against many of the circulating variants”.
He also reiterated Government’s commitment to providing Barbadians with COVID-19 vaccine options.