Barbados has surpassed 25 000 COVID-19 vaccinations, less than two weeks after receiving 100 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a gift from India.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley disclosed the achievement this morning as she marked the occasion by touring the Maurice Byer Polyclinic in St Peter along with Minister of Health Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, coordinators of the National Vaccination Programme Major David Clarke and Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand and other officials, to observe the vaccination process.
Mottley told reporters: “This is a moment we are grateful for and I want to thank those Barbadians who have come forward over the course of less than two weeks…The fact that we have been able to vaccinate just 12.5 per cent of the population is something that gives us comfort.”
The Prime Minister said she believes more Barbadians favour vaccines against the deadly virus, even though she acknowledged that there was still prevailing doubt.
“I know that there are some people who have been doubtful, but more and more people are realizing that 25 000 people have been vaccinated and everybody is good….A lot of what you are hearing on social media and a lot of these stories are exaggerated versions.“
“I am aware of the [anti-vaccination] movement globally but I am equally aware of the common sense of Barbadian people, and we are here today to mark the fact that 25 000 people have said, ‘look, we feel that this will make a difference to my life’,” she said.
“As you move around and talk to patients, here and elsewhere, there is a sense of relief and there is a sense of gratitude and there is a sense of happiness when people receive the vaccination, “ Mottley added.
The Prime Minister revealed there were less than 20 000 doses left from the current batch that should be fully used by next week.However, she assured that Government was aggressively working to secure vaccines to ensure every citizen has the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“I am cautiously optimistic and I hope that I can address the country in the near future. I hope that this time next week I can give you an update and we should be able to have a seamless movement we are trying as far as possible for that.”
“But this morning is also about giving comfort to those Barbadians out there who are still pondering, who are still thinking – go to your doctor, let your doctor talk through the process with you and give you that sense of comfort and come,” the Prime Minister said.