Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021. 10:06 am CST.
By Zoila Palma: On Tuesday, Barbados received 33,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX facility.
The COVAX facility is a global effort between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
PAHO noted that the arrival of the vaccines mark a historic step toward ensuring the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, in the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
“This delivery is part of the first phase of deliveries for Barbados, and more vaccines are expected to arrive successively during 2021. According to the first round of COVAX allocations, Barbados is expected to continue receiving doses through May until it reaches 100,800, the amount specified by COVAX,” PAHO noted.
The AstraZeneca/ Oxford vaccines manufactured by SK Bioscience of South Korea were delivered on Tuesday at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“Seeing this arrival is very reassuring and it means that more people will be able to be protected from COVID-19,” said Dr. Yitades Gebre, PAHO / WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries.
The arrival of these first vaccines will serve to protect priority groups and those most at risk, such as health workers and older adults.
Barbados Minister of Health and Wellness, Jeffrey Bostic extended gratitude.
The country has recorded 3,537 cases of COVID-19 and 43 deaths.
In 2021, the COVAX facility aims to provide vaccines for at least 20% of the population of each participating country.
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