Residents in a community, which recorded a number of COVID-19 cases, have already received their vaccinations and those in three other communities will get theirs soon.
This disclosure came from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley this evening, in an address to the nation, where she discussed an ease of restrictions, which will allow more Barbadians to return to work.
Ms. Mottley told her audience: “About two weeks ago, we took a decision to go into one of the communities where we had seen a larger number of cases than we would otherwise have liked, and we have been able to deliver vaccinations, in that community.
“Yesterday we took a decision that we are now going to expand to three new communities, where we will go in at some point, over the course of the next few days, and start to…give vaccines to those persons in those communities as an intention to disrupt as far as possible, the possibility of the virus having a host…and spreading.”
The Prime Minister said Government was using a multiple approach to assist in the reduction of persons infected by the virus.
She revealed that a programme was started this week, whereby mobile teams visited homes to vaccinate individuals, particularly those who are immobile or vulnerable because of their health challenges.
Ms. Mottley said the first tranche of 33,600 COVAX vaccines would arrive in the island within the next few weeks, hopefully before the end of April. She added that Barbados received 5,000 vaccines today from Guyana, so officials could continue the national programme.
“It therefore means that…we have 38,600 extra ones. When the EOC met…, when the Cabinet Sub-Committee met yesterday…, then in conjunction with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, we agreed, all of us, that we would now use some of the remaining vaccines that we have, to the tune of the ones that we will receive….
“Hence Government’s programme of vaccination can continue seamlessly…. We have a number of irons in the fire, and we have still the African Medical Supplies Platform; plus, the possibility of two commercial procurements, which we are waiting for the details on delivery, which we are deep in discussions and commitments, and in one instance payment,” she indicated.
The Prime Minister noted that by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, 50,621 Barbadians had been vaccinated and described it as a major achievement for the country. She thanked Barbadians for participating in the programme.
She stated that Government would continue to work towards reducing the backlog of elderly persons who had registered for the vaccine, and those who have chronic non-communicable diseases between the ages of 18 and 69.
She pointed out that some frontline workers, who had initially said they did not want to be vaccinated, were now asking to be immunised. “We have therefore gone back into a number of the critical frontline agencies in order to be able to facilitate,” she said.
Ms. Mottley said the Vaccination Fund had now been set up and the Director of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ian Carrington, would oversee the arrangements.
She stressed that the fund was set up because persons had indicated an interest in making donations towards the vaccines.