By EARYEL BOWLEG #Tribune Staff Reporter #[email protected] #THE United States delivered 32,400 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to The Bahamas yesterday. #This represents the third shipment of Pfizer doses the country has received from the US, according to the US Embassy in Nassau, which is evidence of America’s continued support of the Bahamian people in the fight against the pandemic. This donation, through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), adds to the 263,250 vaccine doses delivered to The Bahamas in 2021. #While at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA), US Chargé d’Affaires Usha E Pitts said this donation will bolster The Bahamas’ vaccination campaign. #“So this is a really great day. It means The Bahamas will be able to continue their vaccination campaign, which is so important as we are still working through this pandemic. I think we all know that if you want to get back to normal, the way to get there is through widespread vaccinations,” Ms Pitts said. #She added: “Today, we have 32,000 vaccines and we’re looking for a total of 395,000 vaccines and so we’re about 100,000 vaccines out. So we expect additional deliveries or deliveries in the future to ensure that any Bahamian at any time who wants to get vaccinated will have the opportunity to do that.” #Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville said that nearly 50 percent of the eligible population are vaccinated. Of this figure, he said 31 percent are in the age group of 12 to 17. #Asked about access to paediatric vaccines, he said: “We’re pushing very hard paediatric vaccines. We are in the diplomatic circles trying to find countries that would assist us and we’re hopeful, but there has been no definitive answer as yet.” #Asked if he was pleased with the uptake of vaccines yesterday, he said: “We’re concerned because we’re working very hard through our social mobilisation programme to get more vaccines in arms. We met the PAHO expectation which was 40 percent for 2021. We want to go as far as we can. We’re looking to achieve a goal of about 70 to 80 percent before the end of the year.” #He said if the country finds itself to have a surplus of vaccines, there is a plan that is already in place where “we can distribute to people or countries in the region”. #For her part, Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan explained: “As it relates to the plan that we have in place, we have worked closely for quite awhile with PAHO as well as CARICOM CARPHA Caribbean Public Health Agency and so what we did when we realised that we had vaccinations that would be expiring we sent a note out saying to them that we have these vaccines and whether or not you know any of our sister countries would actually benefit from them. #“We’ve had a very good response. I think it’s about almost 30,000 doses that we will actually be getting to our sister countries - Jamaica, St Kitts, Grenada. Those are the ones that are right on the tip of my tongue, but that helps because if we were to be in a similar position we can also reach out.” #Dr McMillan noted that the doses will not have expired when they get to these countries.
From The Tribune: http://www.tribune242.com/news/2022/feb/17/us-delivers-32000-pfizer-doses/