June 09, 2021
HEALTH Minister Renward Wells said he is unsure which brand of COVID-19 vaccine the country will receive from the United States.
Currently, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one being offered locally.
“We are not completely sure as to which vaccines we are going to receive,” he said yesterday.
“We are going to receive them on two tracks – one, there is the bi-level track with the United States which means directly country to country. We know that the United States is offering AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, but we are not exactly sure which one of those that they are offering to The Bahamas.
“We are in discussions on that and we should have some word for the Bahamian people very, very soon. We will be receiving those vaccines by the end of the month. The other track is that the United States, as you know, would have donated to the World Health Organization through COVAX Facility and countries around the globe will be getting vaccines via that route.
“I think the US has donated some seven million, I believe, to Latin America and the Caribbean through the COVAX Facility and they are going to be doing it on a per capita population basis. We are expecting that we are going to receive vaccines that route, but we also have in train as well this week, I believe will be getting vaccines from PAHO which is the last of the 100,000 we were supposed to receive of AstraZeneca from PAHO through the COVAX facility which is about some 32,800 doses if I remember correctly.”
Asked about the possibility of health officials moving the curfew in the capital from 10pm to at least midnight, Mr Wells said he is more concerned about hospitalisations than overall numbers. And, he said, there are a number of things weighing on a decision to relax restrictions but acknowledged a recent downward trend in cases.
“The Bahamian people are coming forward again and are seeking to be vaccinated,” he said. “We are always as an administration looking to ease both the economic circumstance and just the overall sense of wellbeing for the Bahamian people. Looking at the numbers, obviously a lot of this is contingent on the level of vaccinations experienced in the country and the downward trend.
“As you see and as you would know that as cases are reduced in country, the measures are always relaxed. So it’s really contingent on the amount of the downward trend that we see and the amount of vaccinations taking place in The Bahamas, then the government will make further decisions on the amount of relaxation of measures that are in place in Cat Island, Andros and the Berry Islands as well as here in New Providence and throughout The Bahamas.
Click here to read more at The Tribune