COVID-19 update and press conference – February 9, 2021. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has disclosed that negotiations are being had with the Government of India to obtain a second batch of the Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccine.

The first batch of 100,000 doses, which arrived on the island last evening, would provide cover for 50,000 persons, as the vaccine has to be administered in two doses.

Speaking during a televised news briefing from Ilaro Court last night, Prime Minister Mottley said: “These are part of the first batch of a potential 200,000 doses for Barbados. We are asking and hoping that we can purchase the remaining 100,000 from the Government of India….

“We are still in negotiations for that second batch but we really want, at this stage, to say thank you to the people and Government of India.”

Ms. Mottley also emphasised that collaboration was key in the fight against COVID-19, as she acknowledged Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, for his role in the overall effort.

Indicating that the vaccines handed over to Barbadian authorities were part of a larger consignment, she announced that 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been flown to Dominica by the Regional Security System. The remaining supply would be distributed among several Caribbean countries. 

“Prime Minister Skerrit and myself have worked very closely on this, and I really want to thank him…We’ve also agreed that members of the OECS, and indeed in Barbados’ case Trinidad and Guyana, who have helped us over the course of last year…that some of the vaccines we have received will go to our brothers and sisters in those territories.

Prime Minister Mottley concluded: “I hope that Barbados, Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean can be an example to the rest of the world about how you cooperate. And even when you have a little, you share and you work together because we know that’s the only thing missing in the world today.”

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