Minister of health encourages undocumented migrants to come forward
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While he did not provide a specific rate, Minister of Health Dr Michael Darville this week suggested that increased vaccine coverage in The Bahamas could result in a further easing of COVID-19 rules.
He encouraged residents, including undocumented migrants, to come forward to take the jab and take advantage of the government’s vaccine pop-up sites.
“I am of the view that many people who want to access the vaccination sites may not have transportation and when you take vaccines directly into the neighborhood, people will respond,” Darville said this week.
Asked whether there was concern undocumented migrants would not come forward for vaccination because of their status, the minister encouraged them to get the jab, noting there are translators on-hand to facilitate the process.
“We do encourage individuals in these communities to come out,” he said.
“We have translators that we have brought in for those who may speak Creole.
“We definitely want to do more and we want to get as many people in the community registered and vaccinated as quick as we possibly can so that we can open other aspects of the economy and get people back to work.”
The Bahamas has a less-than-50-percent vaccination rate.
As of February 19, a total of 161,251 people were fully vaccinated in The Bahamas, representing an estimated 47 percent vaccination rate of the eligible population.
Expanded shots and booster jabs have also been made available to the public.
Vaccines remain available for anyone over the age of 12.
Darville’s statement comes as event organizers urge the government to consider increasing the cap for social gatherings and a more standardized application process to hold events.
The National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, continues to expand vaccine access, decentralizing vaccine sites to private medical facilities, community pop-ups and vaccination tours of more vulnerable communities, including shantytown communities.
“We spoke about a week ago to vaccination hesitancy in the country and we’re planning innovative ways on how to get jabs in arms,” the minister said.
We spoke about a week ago to vaccination hesitancy in the country and we’re planning innovative ways on how to get jabs in arms.
– Minister of Health & Wellness Dr Michael Darville
“The issue for us is not the vaccines; they are in the country.
“We encourage every Bahamian to come forth and be vaccinated.
“With that being said, it is important for us to continue our education programs to be able to have our pop-up sites in communities, to take the vaccination effort to the people rather than centralization.
“We have now [a] memorandum of understanding with the private healthcare sector to ensure they have access to vaccines and I am pleased that the response from the medical fraternity has been good.
“We’re beginning to see from our pop-up sites that more people are coming out.
“I encourage Bahamians to do it.
“You must understand that to fight the pandemic, this is one of our greatest tools.”
The overwhelming majority of hospitalized COVID-19 cases with moderate to severe symptoms since the onset of the pandemic have comprised of unvaccinated individuals.
That is blackmail. Besides the Haitians in Haiti are not suicidal either. Why would he think they become suicidal because they are here.