COVID vaccines rolled out on Eleuthera; further expansion set for next week

COVID vaccines rolled out on Eleuthera; further expansion set for next week

Teachers, persons with disabilities and hospitality workers become eligible for vaccination on April 7

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As the government expands its vaccination programme, doses of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have begun to be administered on Eleuthera.

Vaccinations will continue on the island through Thursday beginning with healthcare workers, residents over 60 and staff of the uniformed branches, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday at Jet Aviation Nassau as 33,600 doses of the vaccine arrived in The Bahamas via the COVAX mechanism.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Hubert Minnis delivers an address upon the arrival in Nassau of 33,600 AstraZeneca vaccines, March 30, 2021. (BIS PHOTO/PATRICK HANNA)

Vaccinations on Abaco and Bimini are also expected to begin next week, just after the Easter holidays.

“We want to contain those who have the virus and offer the best care to the population, so that they won’t have to be hospitalized,” the prime minister said.

In recent weeks, new infections have increased nationwide.

More notable spikes have been recorded on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera.

“Health officials are closely monitoring developments and assessments are being carried out on islands where outbreaks have been recorded,” Minnis said.

“Following various assessments, which should come in early next week, we may take further steps based on the findings.”

According to the prime minister, vaccinations will continue this week on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera, leading up to the Easter holiday.

Today, appointments at Loyola Hall on Gladstone Road will be open to the staff of the judiciary, uniformed branches, healthcare workers and members of the public over the age of 60.

Governor General CA Smith receives AstraZeneca vaccine at Loyola Hall, Gladstone Road.

Vaccinations will also continue at Church of God Prophecy for residents 60 and older, healthcare workers and staff of the uniformed branches.

The vaccination programme will resume on April 7.

Minnis said that at that time, those with disabilities, teachers and hospitality workers will become eligible to receive the vaccine.

He also noted that provisions will be made for students and athletes, coaches and support staff who require vaccinations to travel abroad.

To accommodate the expansion, the prime minister advised that additional vaccination centers will be opened on New Providence.

“More information will be provided in the coming days on various details of the vaccination programme,” Minnis said.

More than 7,000 people have received their first dose of AstraZeneca since the rollout of the vaccine programme on March 14.

The highest number of vaccines administered on a single day totaled more than 1,000 people — though the capacity has been said to be more than double that figure.

To date, 63 percent of vaccine recipients were over the age of 60.

Of the total vaccinated, 42 percent were men and 58 percent were women.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.