Arrival of batch 2 of COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX – May 11, 2021. (PMO)

Thirty-eight per cent of Barbados’ eligible population – persons 18 years and older – has already been vaccinated against COVID-19 as Government seeks to immunise 80 to 90 per cent of adults in order to reach herd immunity.

This assertion came from Senior Health Sister, Julyette Serrano, who is also President of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Immunisation Committee and a member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Planners’ Committee, following the arrival of the second shipment of COVAX vaccines – 33,600 doses – at the Grantley Adams International Airport, this morning.

Sister Serrano, who was also speaking on the occasion of Nurses Week, said nurses had been working around the clock to ensure that the demand for vaccinations was met, and that the country achieves herd immunity.  

Calling them the “backbone” of the health care system, she urged persons, including other health care workers, to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Being vaccinated not only prevents you from becoming sick, but if you do become sick, it reduces the severity of your symptoms and it significantly reduces your ability to transmit COVID-19 to your loved ones. Our responsibility to you is to vaccinate you; your responsibility to us is to adhere to the guidelines and protocols and make sure that you are vaccinated.  Tomorrow (Wednesday), we celebrate International Nurses Day, and this is in recognition of one of our great leaders. The theme is Nurses Leading from Out Front – Having a Vision for Health Care,” Sister Serrano stated.

She added that nurses were on the frontlines of the fight against the virus, conducting active and passive surveillance, protecting the country’s borders, up front in contact tracing, testing and vaccinating, and providing critical acute care.

President of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Immunisation Committee and a member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Planners’ Committee, Senior Health Sister, Julyette Serrano. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Senior Health Sister also assured Barbadians that Government had, as one of its priorities, the procurement of vaccines to protect its citizens.  

She pointed out that several vaccines were on order and the aim was to vaccinate all eligible persons in the population who were desirous of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, also acknowledged the crucial role nurses are playing in the pandemic.

“As the Minister of Health and Wellness, I want to salute all of our hardworking, dedicated, committed nurses. Thank you, for your service. As they say, tourism is our business; COVID-19, regrettably, is also our business. I urge you to play your part; do not hesitate, vaccinate,” he stated.  

Minister Bostic added that the latest shipment had brought the country 33,600 steps further in its quest to achieve herd immunity.

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