Private doctors will not, at this time, be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to their patients.
Public Health Specialist and Co-coordinator of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would only be administered through the public health system.
She added that some private practitioners had offered up their offices to be used as vaccination sites, but even then the vaccines would be free.
Dr. Ferdinand explained that the infrastructure of the vaccine programme simply would not allow for private doctors to get doses of the vaccine.
“You have to have the medical programme and the information; a medical clerk to enter the data; the public health nurse to do the injection; and the SHAPE application to do the recording of the [vaccination] certificate.
“Generally speaking for this first round, we are not entertaining really every single private practitioner being able to inject their own patients. We would, however, like them to advise their patients to get the vaccine,” she stated.
Although they will not be using the vaccines in their private practices, a number of doctors have volunteered their services.
Reportedly, about 55 private doctors are helping to support the national vaccination programme within the polyclinic system.
According to Dr. Ferdinand, some members of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) were being trained to be part of the national vaccination effort.