Bahamas receives 57,330 doses of Pfizer vaccine to boost COVID-19 vaccination program


The Bahamas received 57,330 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which arrived at Lynden Pindling International Airport on Thursday, October 21, 2021. Pictured, left to right, Nurse Ruth Bastian, National Immunization Program Manager; Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Welfare; Dr Pearl McMillan, Chief Medical Officer; PAHO / WHO Country Representative, Dr Eldonna Boisson; Minister of Health and Wellness The Hon. Dr Michael Darville; and Danny Davis, co-chair of the Department of Health and Wellness Immunization Committee. (BIS Photo / Kristaan ​​Ingraham)

Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas has received some 57,330 doses of Pfizer vaccine as the country continues to roll out the national vaccine program against the COVID-19 virus.

The Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr Michael Darville was on hand to receive the last tranche of vaccine, which arrived at Lynden Pindling International Airport on Thursday, October 21, 2021. Also in attendance were health officials and the PAHO / WHO representative in the area. country, Dr. Eldonna Boisson.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has helped the Bahamas receive the vaccines – the fourth batch – through the COVAX facility, which is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and therapies.

Dr Darville, on behalf of the people of the Bahamas, thanked PAHO and all others, who were instrumental in securing the country’s vaccines. “These vaccines are absolutely essential for our immunization program and we have people all over our family islands just waiting for the doses to arrive.
“We are delighted that they are here today and you will see very soon that we will be increasing the number of vaccinations at our various centers not only in New Providence and Grand Bahama, but also in all of the Family Islands,” said he declared.

Dr Darville explained that the vaccination teams would move “very quickly” because there are people in the different centers waiting to be inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine.

“The program was reduced a bit because we had to have the vaccines in the field. They are here. They will be stored efficiently and you will start to see an even bigger rollout as the appetite and demand for vaccines, especially from Pfizer, is definitely on the rise, and that’s a good sign for us and we need to be able to. to respond adequately to demand. with the supply, ”he said.

According to Dr. Darville, the deployment of this tranche of vaccines is expected from Friday (October 22). And, this will be achieved in all of the family’s islands, primarily those with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases.
“Thanks to PAHO and all the other parties involved, we are actually ahead and that is a good sign for us,” he said, referring to the tentative deployment date of November 1, 2021. .

Dr Darville added, “It’s just a little logistics to get the vaccines to the various places because people all over the country are very interested in getting the vaccine because they finally understand that [for] people who are vaccinated, the chances of hospitalization if you contract COVID are very low and the chances of death if you contract COVID are very low.
These are the things we keep pushing and the people of the Bahamas are responding very positively to vaccines. “

Dr Boisson said PAHO / WHO was happy to have been able to assist in the administration of these much-needed doses.

“We look forward to continuing to help by facilitating the provision of more vaccines in the future through PAHO’s Revolving Fund, to complement other vaccine supplies and donations,” she said.

Dr Boisson thanked the Bahamas for doing a great job of rapidly rolling out COVID-19 vaccines as they become available.

She noted, however, that the main challenge of the program has at times been limited access to vaccines, as global demand continues to far outstrip supply.

“However, here in the Bahamas, you are fortunate to have three of the six vaccines approved by WHO on the Emergency Use List (EUL), namely Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Janssen (or Johnson and Johnson).

“All of these vaccines are safe and effective. They all went through the same rigorous regulatory process in order to gain EUL approval from the WHO. They all offer significant protection against serious illness and death, ”she said.

Dr Darville and Dr Boisson urged the public to get vaccinated, and also to follow health safety protocols – wearing masks, disinfecting hands and social distancing.

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