Barbados has done well in the COVID-19 fight, but cannot afford to drop its guard now.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley gave this reminder today as she received the second shipment of vaccines under the global COVAX Facility, at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Ms. Mottley said a few persons on the island were still not adhering to the protocols and expressed concern about this negative behaviour. “There are still a few people who are not wearing masks in public spaces and I want to beg you in simple terms [to stop], life is too short….
“We have tried to ensure that, wherever possible, masks are also easily accessible in this country. Why? Because we are as strong as the weakest link among each of us,” she pointed out.
She noted that while the positivity rate was usually under two per cent, the island was still at risk and alluded to the spike in COVID cases from time to time to strengthen her point about the ongoing battle against the virus.
The Prime Minister noted that over 75,000 vaccines had been administered in the public health system. However, she pointed out that number would have to increase for there to be herd immunity and eventually, a level of normalcy.
She said while some persons were keen to receive the vaccine, others still had doubts. “We have, therefore, to address these doubts and fears…. Those of you who are hesitant or have issues, we are more than prepared to answer your queries, and to ramp up the level of public communication,” she declared.
Ms. Mottley stressed that Government was procuring additional vaccines to facilitate those citizens who wanted to be immunised. “We are at a stage now where we expect, I believe, another major shipment, and hopefully that will get us to where we need to go with our adult population.
“And now, we have then to start to focus on those under 18 with respect to vaccinations, which as you know is still very much in its embryonic stages globally,” she explained.
She reported that Cuba had indicated that it was at an advanced stage of developing a vaccine for adolescents. She said Government would look at how best those vaccines could be procured, while emphasising it was still too early to give any definitive guidelines or framework.