PM receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

PM receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis receives his second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Kendal GL Isaacs National Gymnasium on Monday, May 10, 2021. (BIS PHOTO)

Fully vaccinated individuals not required to submit RT-PCR test when traveling within Bahamas 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said he was elated to receive the second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine yesterday afternoon, telling the media he was glad it was “all over”.

“Of course, I didn’t feel anything, but just the sight of the needle had obviously put me in a different zone,” Minnis told the media at the Kendal GL Isaacs National Gymnasium after receiving his second jab.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis (left) and his wife, Patricia Minnis (right), at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium to receive their second doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday, May 10, 2021. (BIS PHOTO)

“I have had 22 tests traveling up and down the Family Islands.

“So, now that I have the second dose, it means I don’t need the test anymore to travel throughout the Family Islands.

“So, I am very happy about that.”

Oxford AstraZeneca is a two-dose vaccine, however, there have been reports internationally of vaccine recipients skipping out on their second-dose appointments by not showing up.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends receiving the second dose within eight to 12 weeks of the first.

Health officials have noted that side effects from the second dose could be worse than the first.

Asked about fears among the public concerning severe symptoms with taking the second dose, the prime minister said: “No. We ask a simple question.

“We know that we vaccinate babies. It’s not unusual when a baby receives a vaccination that a baby cries; sometimes a baby may be crying for four hours, occasionally babies may have fever also. Unfortunately, babies can’t talk as opposed to us, so the babies never had [a] reaction and we no concern about it.

“So, again, it is basically harmless. In fact, it is harmless and just like how the babies might have had a reaction related to the vaccination that they received, so can we.

“But it’s harmless and the benefits far outweigh the problems you face.”

The WHO has made similar statements regarding the risk and reward of the vaccine.

At current, any Bahamian or resident over the age of 18 is eligible for the vaccine.

More than 36,000 doses have been administered.

The National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee began administering second doses of the vaccine yesterday.