Grenada to share COVID-19 vaccines – NationNews Barbados – nationnews.com
St George’s – Health Minister Nickolas Steele has confirmed that the government is considering giving countries in the region a portion of its stockpile of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine which is near expiration.
Steele said Grenada had had discussions with some countries on the issue, but he did not identify which ones.
“We have been approached by other countries. . . . We must also remember that our first vaccine delivery is the result of an agreement shared with our OECS [Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States] country and, therefore, the principle of sharing has existed from day one with our OECS and CARICOM [Caribbean Community] brothers and sisters, ”he said.
“I see no reason for this principle. . . because we have vaccines that cannot be used on time – it cannot be done. It will be regrettable to lose them. “
Grenada rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program in early February with AstraZeneca vaccines from Dominica and Barbados. More than 17,000 people have been vaccinated since then and 7,917 of them are now fully vaccinated.
Health officials have said that since the news that the island’s vaccine stock is approaching its expiration date, there has been a steady increase in the number of people getting vaccinated. Thousands of doses, which will expire on June 27, are still available.
“We are seriously reviewing our current intake to determine how many doses we will use before the expiration date. The excess that we will not be able to administer, we have considered sending it to countries that have better use and can use them, and we will do that with enough time for them to administer these vaccines ” , explained Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles.
In addition to receiving the gifted vaccines, Grenada has started receiving more doses under the COVAX Facility – a global effort between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). ) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In early April, Grenada received 24,000 doses and received another shipment on Wednesday.
He is expected to continue receiving doses until May until he reaches 45,600 doses – the amount specified by COVAX. (CMC)