A bottle of the AstraZeneca vaccine is displayed in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
WITH COVID-19 vaccinations set to resume in New Providence and Grand Bahama today, officials are also hoping to open up additional vaccination sites to accelerate the process.
Vaccination sites identified in New Providence include Loyola Hall on Gladstone Road, Church of God of Prophecy on East Street and in Grand Bahama, the Susan J Wallace Community Centre.
In a statement released on Sunday, the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee reminded that only those in the first priority group, including health care workers, people age 60 and over at those in the uniformed branches etc, will be eligible to receive their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the aforementioned centres.
Yesterday, Health Minister Renward Wells revealed the ministry’s plans to open up additional sites to get more people vaccinated.
“The good news is we have additional vaccines and we want people to take it and I say that not because persons are not taking it because Bahamians are going online, they’re calling me, they’re upset that some of them don’t have an appointment in May,” he told reporters before going into a Cabinet meeting.
“So, we’re looking at how we can open up additional sites to make sure that everyone is able to get in to get that vaccine so that we’re able to combat the potential further increases…and given what we are currently seeing in our numbers to ensure that we’re able to get a handle on what’s going on.”
Mr Wells said he believes that some 10,000 people in the country have already received their first dose of the vaccine since the campaign was launched.
Last week, Eleuthera became the first Family Island to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca doses since the country received the shots in March.
The nation’s vaccination programme will expand to several more islands in the days ahead, specifically Abaco and Bimini which are expected to begin vaccinations sometime this week.
Yesterday, the minister could not give a definitive date as to when vaccinations will begin on those respective islands.
“I don’t want to give a date that’s not correct but all of our intentions was to start this week with Bimini and Abaco and there may be others who might be added to the mix in our fight to stay ahead of the increase in cases because we are ahead,” he said.
Asked whether the ministry has received any reports about negative side effects of the vaccine, the health minister replied: “None to date. Not that I know of... I have not seen any evidence to suggest such.”