THROUGHOUT the battle against COVID-19, one of the repeated questions has been over the need for the government to secure enough vaccines for everyone. That question has now been answered – and emphatically so.
The United States is donating 397,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with the first 128,700 doses arriving today.
Between that and the doses previously received of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, and the 40,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to arrive by the end of the month, supply is no longer an issue for Bahamians.
Demand is our major concern now. It is encouraging that the previous supplies we have received have been used up, but there still remains a significant chunk of the population who have not yet sought out the vaccine.
The phrase commonly used for that is vaccine hesitancy, but that is perhaps too large an umbrella to cover everyone who has yet to book their appointment.
There are those, for example, who have been advised by their doctor who may have particular health concerns, such as allergies to some of the components.
There are those who are simply wary of the vaccine or even just the needle and who are building up the courage to make the call.
There are some who might not know how to book the appointment – you can visit vax.gov.bs to do so, or if you don’t have internet access, ask your doctor or nearest walk-in clinic.
Sadly, there are some who put more stock in conspiracy theories than in medical experts, even if it is those same medical experts they will turn to if they catch COVID-19 and need help.
Whatever the reason you might not have booked your vaccine appointment, you can be confident that if you do so right now, then there will be enough supply for you.
We are seeing a significant number of people in hospital right now – and the vast majority are those who are unvaccinated, both of those needing treatment and of those who have died.
The vaccine can help you stay out of hospital, and it can help you stay alive.
We owe a massive thank you to the United States for its donation, just as we owe thanks to the other countries who have helped us out previously.
We must not let these donations go to waste. Let’s take the lead in our region, and hit vaccination numbers ahead of our neighbouring countries. Better yet, let’s keep ourselves, our friends, our families out of hospital. Let’s stay alive.
Our country is saying thank you in a different way today too. Gold medal winners Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner are each to receive $40,000 for their Olympic efforts, and we suspect there’s not a person in the country who would begrudge them a single cent. Indeed, many would say they deserve a lot more!
It is a tradition around the world for countries to reward their Olympic heroes, a little extra incentive for those following in their speedy footsteps.
The pair are due to arrive back on Bahamian soil today at Lynden Pindling International Airport, to be greeted with flags and the sound of Junkanoo.
We hope the pair see how much the country appreciates their efforts, and that forevermore they will be hailed as Bahamian heroes. They have earned the right.