PM welcomes Catholic approval of COVID-19 vaccine

PM welcomes Catholic approval of COVID-19 vaccine
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis delivers a national address on Sunday, February 21, 2021. (OPM COMMUNICATIONS UNIT)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau’s position on the COVID-19 vaccine bodes well for The Bahamas as it begins administering its first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to healthcare professionals.

“I am happy that the Catholic Church has come forth and given their official announcement,” Minnis told Eyewitness News.

“The archbishop has made his official announcement and I am very happy for that. And of course, you know that I, too, am a Catholic.”

Nurse Ruth Bastian became the first Bahamian to become vaccinated on Sunday morning.

Health Consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis was also among the first to be inoculated from the virus.

The prime minister, his wife, Patricia, and Minister of Health Renward Wells were inoculated on Sunday afternoon.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis receives his first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Loyola Hall. (BIS PHOTO/YONTALAY BOWE)

In a statement earlier this month, Archbishop Reverend Patrick C Pinder called coronavirus vaccination a “common good” that will protect individuals’ health, promote public health and save Bahamian lives.

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Vatican in January.

The Pope referred to the vaccination as “an ethical action, because you are gambling with your health, you are gambling with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others”.

Pinder noted a number of bishop colleagues have already been vaccinated.

The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) has not formally made its position known on the vaccine.

The council’s COVID-19 Vaccine Investigative Committee met with the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee last Friday.

When contacted ahead of the latest meeting, Pastor Mario Moxey, who heads the investigative committee on behalf of the BCC, said the process has taken longer than anticipated.

“It’s coming along and I think we’re going to be able to have a fairly decent report that hopefully will answer a lot of questions, you know,” he told Eyewitness News.

It was pointed out that the position of the church could impact The Bahamas’ vaccination program.

Moxey said the council is expected to hold a press conference to advise on its position, but did not provide a timeline, adding that the investigative committee will present its findings to the council for determination.

The Bahamas received a donation of 20,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India last Wednesday, representing the first batch of vaccines to arrive in the country.

According to the prime minister, the nation will receive 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca through the COVAX Facility before the end of the month, with another 64,200 doses expected by the end of May.

The government made a down payment of $250,000 for 100,000 doses last year.

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”.


I got my vaccine shot on Friday and other than feeling a little punky for a couple of days afterwards all is well 5 days later. At 68 yrs old with COPD I was a little worried but my fears are now overcome with relief that all went well and now I am on my way to no worries about getting the virus with it’s potentially deadly consequences. I look forward to receiving my second shot for increased protection. I highly recommend getting vaccinated when it is
available for your age group..

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