Barbados to set up fund to buy COVID-19 vaccinesFriday, February 26, 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — A National Vaccine Fund will be launched soon in Barbados to secure the next batch of COVID-19 vaccines for residents here, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said on Thursday night, as she announced that more than 29,000 people had already received the vaccine.
While the first 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca were a gift from the Government of India, Mottley said the next shipment would come at a cost, although she did not go into details.
In an address to the nation, on Thursday night, to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation and the vaccine rollout, the prime minister said the Government would not be charging people for the next round of vaccines it intends to purchase but would be appealing to people at the individual and corporate levels to help ease the “stress”, by contributing to the fund when it is established.
Mottley told the nation there are plans to get additional vaccines.
“We have a number of irons in the fire to secure a very large number of vaccines,” she said, adding that once they arrived, anyone in Barbados wanting to be vaccinated would be given the opportunity to do so.
Mottley reported that about 14 per cent of the island's population had already been vaccinated. She said 29,186 vaccinations were administered, as of Thursday, just over two weeks after the vaccines from India arrived in Barbados.
“We're progressing with our vaccine rollout programme. By weekend, we will be in the homestretch for the administering of this first order of vaccines,” she added.
Mottley stressed that it was not mandatory for people here to take the vaccine, but cautioned that the world was moving towards a point where people's choices and movements would be limited without immunisation.
“The reality of the world in which we live now today, has for decades required persons to produce vaccination cards, showing that you have protected yourself against certain diseases, before you can enter certain countries,” she noted.
“And we are already seeing signs in the world that if you want to do certain things that people are requiring more and more evidence of vaccination. So, while we are not making it mandatory, we are also going to be very clear in explaining to our population how the world is moving, and the extent to which people's movements and choices will be limited in the absence of vaccinations,” the prime minister cautioned.
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