Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, noted that the island had the adequate storage capacity for the Pfizer vaccine, which was donated by the US government. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has welcomed the first tranche of Pfizer vaccines from the United States of America, describing it as “big step forward” for Barbados.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the arrival of the shipment at the Grantley Adams International Airport today, Minister Bostic said he was “very happy because this adds variety to what we are offering”.

“It gives people another choice; it provides also for the possibility for some of our students being able to access the vaccines if that decision is made at the appropriate level,” he added, while expressed gratitude to the US Ambassador and her team.

Minister Bostic further noted that the island had the adequate storage capacity for the Pfizer vaccine, which is kept at a lower temperature than the other COVID-19 vaccines being used locally.  “Bearing in mind that this vaccine operates at a different temperature than the others that we’ve had before, and we have everything in place to be able to store the vaccines,” he said.          

The Health Minister also addressed a number of matters during the question and answer segment, including providing an update on recent COVID-19 clusters.

He reported that while most of the clusters identified were “inactive”, public health authorities were still investigating the latest one, which has been linked to several bars in Bridgetown.  However, Minister Bostic said the situation was under control.

“The cluster of concern at the moment remains what we call the “bar cluster”, starting with a wedding locally and then some bar-hopping.  That cluster is still growing; I believe my last count was about 49, but we’ve been able to contain it to an extent.

“The contact tracing process has been going very, very well and I would like to compliment those persons who were positive for really sharing information that has made it very much easier for us.  We’ve been able to quarantine persons; quarantine families in order to contain the spread….  Then yesterday, we started to see the development of another family cluster we’re watching, but we’re on top of things where these clusters are concerned,” the Health Minister explained.

nya.phillips@barbados.gov.bb

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