NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Immunocompromised residents in The Bahamas will have access to booster shots of coronavirus vaccines, according to Minister of Health Dr Michael Darville.
The decision follows global public health trends and recommendations, including the Pan American Health Organization.
Darville made the announcement ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“We are planning to roll out the third dose for individuals who are immunocompromised,” the minister said.
“We have been reading the CDC reports and we realize many countries around the world is offering the booster shots.
“For that, we are definitely looking at it in our consultative committee, but at this particular time the final stages are being put together in order for us to be able to launch the third dose for immunocompromised individuals while we beef up vaccination campaigns throughout New Providence, the Family Islands and Grand Bahama so that residents everywhere will come forth and get their vaccinations as soon as possible.”
As part of its COVID-19 vaccine guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that immunocompromised people can receive a booster dose of a COVID vaccine at least six months after completing their primary vaccination series.
While third doses continued to be administered in the United States for Americans, a booster shot for an immunocompromised individual could be a fourth COVID shot.
In The Bahamas, residents have been offered two COVID shots via AstraZeneca and Pfizer and one dose of Johnson and Johnson.
A booster shot represents a second and third shot respectively.
Research has shown that people with compromised immunity do not mount an adequate response to the virus following vaccination.
A third dose raises immunity levels bringing them in line with normal immune systems after two doses.
It is unclear how many people in The Bahamas are immunocompromised.
More than 143,000 people have been fully vaccinated in The Bahamas.
Concerns about a fourth wave in the nation persist as several European countries battle surging cases.
The Bahamas has experienced low double-digit new infections in recent weeks.