The National Vaccine Fund was launched last week, and it has already received just under $7 million in donations.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the disclosure earlier today during the debate on the 2021-22 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, in the House of Assembly.
Ms. Mottley said: “Six million dollars alone has come from Sandy Lane Hotel and its owners, and we want to thank them. When I asked them whether they wanted me to make it public, they said only in so far as it would spur others to want to do the same thing.”
The Prime Minister noted that Government would have to spend about $25 million to obtain vaccines. “We are committed to it because it is to protect Barbadians…. This Government will spend the money to save people’s lives and to protect Barbadians in this country,” she stressed.
She said 62,000 Barbadians had already been vaccinated and stated that was more than 25 per cent of the country’s adult population.
Ms. Mottley said Barbados was grateful for the donated vaccines it had received. However, she noted that when vaccine supplies were locked off from countries, then they had to go through middlemen who charged higher prices.
“And whether we like it or not, that is our reality; so that you will end up paying on average US$ 24 to 25 a dose for AstraZeneca, in circumstances where those developed countries will get it at a fraction of that cost. Now you can wait, we just don’t know when we will be waiting until… and I am not prepared to take that chance with Barbadians’ lives,” she declared.