Welcoming the arrival of roughly 130,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville said 39 percent of the population of the country has been vaccinated against COVID-19, with the government hoping to reach 50 percent by the end of the year.
“We are going to work hard to achieve that goal,” he said, “and we are definitely going to ramp up our public education so that every Bahamian in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will know the importance of being vaccinated.”
Darville added, “We are pleading to the Bahamian people to come out to receive the vaccine. It’s important that they do because we all know that vaccines are one of the greatest protections from hospitalization and the probability of death from COVID-19.”
As of October 31, 133,081 people in The Bahamas were fully vaccinated against COVID, with 263,875 doses administered in total.
According to a spokesperson from the Office of the Prime Minister, 18,730 of those doses were Pfizer doses administered to adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.
Some 8,240 12 to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated in The Bahamas.
Yesterday’s shipment represented the second tranche of Pfizer vaccines donated by the US government.
Darville thanked the US for the “much-needed” doses, particularly given shortages in recent weeks.
“It’s very important for us, because you know at one particular point we did have some challenges,” he said.
“And now with this amount of vaccines, there should be no setbacks in terms of our facilities being able to offer the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccines.”
Darville added, “And so, as we receive these vaccines, we would like to thank the American government on behalf of the Bahamian people. We also would like to thank all of our team members who were involved, for us getting to where we are today. And we look forward to beginning to ramp up our vaccination program throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
US Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts said the donation is symbolic of the alliance between the US and The Bahamas.
“I am really gratified by this delivery today,” she said.
“… This is, of course, the first delivery of COVID vaccines under the new administration and I think it’s important to point out that that’s very symbolic. It means that this alliance, this friendship between the United States and The Bahamas transcends administrations, transcends generations. We are here to stay.”