A GENEROUS GIFT: Bahamas to receive 397,000 vaccine doses from United States

A GENEROUS GIFT: Bahamas to receive 397,000 vaccine doses from United States
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

128,700 Pfizer doses to arrive in country today 

Pfizer vaccine available to 12 to 17-year-olds with consent of a parent or guardian

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday that The Bahamas will receive 397,0000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States government.

Minnis made the announcement as he opened debate in Parliament on a resolution to extend the emergency orders to November 13.

The prime minister advised that the first tranche of those US vaccines, some 128,700 doses of Pfizer, is expected to arrive in country tomorrow.

The vaccines were donated through negotiations with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

Minnis indicated that the Pfizer vaccine will also be available to 12 to 17-year-olds with the consent of a parent or guardian.

 “Along with the doses we will receive tomorrow, the vaccine supply we already received and other doses on the way, over the next weeks and months, we will have the capacity to vaccinate all Bahamians and residents who wish to receive the vaccine,” he said.

“Our vaccine supply will allow us to give a significant percentage of our population protection.

“This will in time lessen the likelihood that we will have large-scale surges that cause extremely high hospitalizations.”

As of August 7, some 108,506 doses of the vaccines have been administered, of which 62,863 people have received the first dose and 47,580 people are fully vaccinated.

That number includes residents who got fully vaccinated abroad and who have registered with the ministry.

Minister of Health Renward Wells advised yesterday that Uniformed Branch Services have had 50 percent of their officers vaccinated — some 3895 officers.

He said among all healthcare workers, clinical and non-clinical, 6,678 or 52 percent have been vaccinated.

“Though these numbers are encouraging, the influential role of healthcare workers as leaders in this fight is undisputable,” Wells said.

“While almost 50 percent are already vaccinated, we underscore that health worker safety is a priority for patient safety”.

The Bahamas is also expected to receive some 40,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines by the end of August.

The Bahamas received its latest tranche of vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility last week, totaling 100,800 doses from the mechanism to date.

The government has also received a donation of 3,496 vaccine doses from Montserrat and Anguilla and a donation of 20,000 doses from the government of India.

Minnis once again insisted yesterday that the extension of the emergency order will be the last time the orders will be extended.

“It was the intention of my government that, depending on the state of the pandemic, we would move toward concluding the use of the emergency orders this month and to transition to a new legislative framework as more Bahamians were vaccinated,” he said.

”The surge in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths has required us to temporarily adjust our plans in order to immediately save Bahamian lives and to protect our economy.”

Minnis noted that the government has set a plan to further combat this third wave and to transition the country to a new post-emergency orders regime after this deadly surge subsides.

On Monday, he tabled the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Management Bill, 2021, for public consultation.

“This will be the last extension of these orders,” the prime minister added.

“After approval by Parliament, I note that the emergency orders will end, at the very latest, on Saturday, November 13th, 2021.”

About Sloan Smith

ssmith@ewnews.com Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.