AFTER the push to get Bahamians fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the time has come to look forward to the next stage – and for many people, that means booster shots.
Across the world, a number of nations have already been offering booster shots. Here at home, the first concern was getting enough vaccines to get people fully vaccinated in the first place. With the end of that challenge in sight, the prospect of booster shots has now appeared on our own horizon.
The reasoning is simple – booster shots do just that, boost your resistance to the COVID-19 virus. Over time, resistance can fade and this reinforces your defences.
The first step here is, it seems, to offer booster shots to those Bahamian residents who are immunocompromised and/or over 60 years old.
That makes a good deal of sense – offering it first to those who are most at risk.
There is a good deal of evidence from other countries by now about the efficacy of such a booster shot, with the CDC announcing last week that Americans aged over 50 as well as those aged 18 or older who live in long-term care facilities “should” get booster shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, while all adults over 18 “may” do so.
Across the Atlantic in the UK, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been cleared as a booster shot.
It’s a sensible move to offer it to those most in need here – but we hope that once that target group has been offered the boosters, it would become available for others across the country.
The state of the pandemic has definitely improved – with just three new cases in the country in the latest update – but that’s no reason to let up in the fight against the virus. We must not let up when the virus is on the run.
It is a sensitive topic on who should get booster shots – as Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville recognises.
He said: “We would like to target those individuals who have not had any vaccines and to use up the vaccines for third doses when there are other individuals in the country who have not even gotten their first dose, that is the big debate because these vaccines are very precious.”
The debate over young people, particularly, getting their vaccines will come more into the spotlight as we edge closer to children returning to in-school classes.
Another factor is that some of the vaccines we possess are close to their expiration date – so it’s almost a case of use them or lose them.
Part of that is up to us. Those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, for whatever reason, this is the time to step forward.
The stronger our collective resistance is, the better our chances of weathering any future wave of the virus. We’ve seen the number of deaths that has brought in recent months – and we need to do all we can to prevent that happening again.
It is encouraging to hear the plans for boosters – and the consideration for those who haven’t had their first shots. We welcome such thoughtfulness as we plan the path ahead.
Signed and sealed?
When is a done deal not a done deal? When it is with workers at Bahamas Power and Light, apparently.
Back before the election, a deal was thought to be all sewn up. On September 8, it was even signed.
So now what is the hold up? Apparently the trade unions’ registrar is upset that management at BPL has tried to get the union to add in clauses after the document was signed.
A deal is a deal, and a signature is a signature.
BPL executives have yet to answer about these claims. But if the document has been signed, you can’t change it after the fact.
Either way, everyone involved needs a little more clarity over why there is a hold up. It took years to get to this point, it can’t be undone over a rethink so late it’s past the last minute.
Honour the deal and carry on. And if the management isn’t happy with the deal it signed? Go back to the table and try and get a new deal. Given the four years this one took, good luck with that.