Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s address to the nation – January 08, 2021. (PMO)

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines could be here within another four to eight weeks.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said this evening, in her most recent update, that about four vaccines could be on island as soon as this weekend. This “handful” of vaccines, she explained, would be given first to those leading the fight against the viral illness.

“There is a possibility this weekend that there may be four vaccines that are available; we are not sure of it yet. We will know in another few hours, but we have agreed that, and we’ve had consultation at the higher levels of Cabinet, if those are there, the first person that we would want to offer vaccination to in this country is Dr. Corey Forde, our lone Infection Specialist, who has done yeoman’s work, and who is on the frontline with all of the facilities in the country.

“Similarly, Mr. Singh who has been the main person doing the testing, and even going on cruise ships and boats, will be the second. The Minister of Health, I believe, has to be there, in order to be able to continue running this exercise as he has been doing for the last 12 months, and we need him to continue to do it. And there’s a debate going on, I have been fighting it, the rest believe that I must take it as Prime Minister, but we are still in deep discussions on that …. But, if I have to I will, if only because I know that there are some people who are vaccine skeptics, and we need to let persons know that these vaccines are things that we have been accustomed to from children.

“Yes, there is always a risk, but the risk, invariably, is negligible in comparison to the benefits that we’ll gain with respect to it, without prejudice to those four,” she disclosed.

Ms. Mottley further explained that Government had paid nearly BDS $5 million to secure vaccines, under the COVAX facility, for 20 per cent of the population, in the first instance.  

Additionally, she said priority would be given to those persons working on the frontlines, including medical personnel, the security forces and vulnerable populations within society.

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