Minnis: No One Forgot To Order Vaccines

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has denied claims made by Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville that the previous administration “forgot” to order additional COVID-19 vaccines before being voted out of office.

In a statement issued yesterday, Dr Minnis defended his administration’s record on securing hundreds of thousands vaccines for the population.

“No one in the former administration ‘forgot to order more vaccines.’ All COVID-19 vaccines procured through the COVAX Facility were ordered in early 2020, before vaccines were available. The Bahamas has received three of a total of five tranches,” Dr Minnis said.

“The second tranche of a donation of vaccines from the government of the United States of America, which the former administration was informed would arrive on 15 October 2021, has not yet materialised.

“The former administration was successful in securing hundreds of thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Bahamians through various channels, including through the COVAX–WHO Facility, international donations, regional partnerships and the government of the United States of America.

“In addition to securing COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility and a donation of a total of 397,000 doses of the vaccine from the US, the former administration was successful in securing a donation of 20,000 vaccines from the government of India, 38,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines through the African Union and 8,496 doses through diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries that helped to top up vaccine inventory when necessary.

“This was part of the former administration’s comprehensive strategy to ensure that all Bahamians and eligible residents who wanted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine had access to the vaccine.”

He said since the start of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme on March 14 and September 18, a total of 184,461 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered across The Bahamas.

“During previous times of low inventory of COVID- 19 vaccines the former administration was able to manage supplies without interrupting the vaccination programme,” he continued.

“In addition to procuring vaccines, the former administration procured ultra-cold storage facilities with the capacity to safely store 1.5 million doses of mRNA vaccines at the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Unit.

“As we did previously in government, the official opposition advises Bahamians and eligible residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Yesterday, the Davis administration officials announced that additional vaccines are expected to arrive in the country today.


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