COVID-19 update and press conference – February 17, 2021. (PMO)

To date, 6,665 persons have received their COVID-19 vaccines under Government’s National Vaccination Programme.

And, Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the programme since its roll out.  

During today’s press briefing, he stated: “I am pleased to report that having started to test our systems last Wednesday with the vaccination of 30 people, and increasing our numbers daily, as of yesterday evening, Barbados has vaccinated 6,665 persons. That is nearly 1,000 people a day.”

He also noted that the daily dashboard had been updated, as seen for the first time yesterday, to include the number of inoculations done per day, and the overall count. 

The Health Minister also responded to situations in which members of the public had been randomly visiting polyclinics in order to be vaccinated.  

Acknowledging their intentions, he reminded persons that at this stage, public health officials have prioritised vaccinating persons who were in the high-risk category.

“I’ve instructed the polyclinics and the testing centres that immediately the only persons that should be coming to those institutions for vaccines are persons who are 70 and over, persons who are below 70 and over 16 who have chronic [non-communicable diseases]. 

“And those persons will receive a telephone call after registering, from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Vaccine Committee and those persons will be told exactly where and when to go to receive their vaccines,” Minister Bostic explained. 

Meanwhile, he indicated operations would soon return to normal at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory, as “the latest set of tests are being rung and the backlog will be cleared today”. 

The Health Minister said it was critical that lab results provided up to date information, so the Ministry “can get an accurate assessment of positivity rates and the pervasiveness of the disease in Barbados”, which would further guide Government’s management of the ongoing public health situation.

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