June 10, 2021
AS BAHAMIAN officials urge vaccination to push the country towards herd immunity, a Pan American Health Organization official revealed that less than three million of the Caribbean's population has been vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Dr Carissa Etienne, PAHO’s director, made the revelation yesterday during PAHO’s weekly webinar updating the region on the fight against COVID-19.
Health Minister Renward Wells feels that 120,000 fully vaccinated Bahamians will put the country “in a good place” in the fight against COVID, but this number is well below the number needed for herd immunity.
As of June 5, 62,183 AstraZeneca doses had been given to residents of The Bahamas. Of this figure, 48,434 have received one dose. Meanwhile 13,749 people have had two shots, meaning they are fully vaccinated. This represents roughly four percent of the country’s population.
“Just two million people have been fully vaccinated in Central America and less than three million in the Caribbean,” Dr Etienne said. “Some countries like Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras have yet to administer enough doses to protect just one percent of their populations.
“The inequities in vaccination coverage are undeniable. Unfortunately, vaccine supply is concentrated in a few nations while most of the world waits for doses to trickle out. Although COVID-19 vaccines are new, this story isn’t—inequality has too often dictated who has the right to health.”
Minister Wells recently told the press The Bahamas is in line to receive some COVID-19 vaccines via the generosity of the United States directly. The United States is donating its excess to countries around the world through the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.
He also said he is expecting a COVAX shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine sometime this week.
Dr Etienne thanked the United States for its generous donation to the world.
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