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More people eligible for vaccine

More Bahamians and residents, including teachers and school staff, hospitality workers, students and athletes studying or competing abroad and home-bound physically disabled people, are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee said yesterday. 

The committee said over 10,000 people have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine since mid-March when the rollout started. 

Hospitality workers eligible for the vaccine include hotel and resort employees; public transportation workers; employees at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA), Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) and Nassau Cruise Port; and straw market vendors, beach vendors and tour operators. 

Students and athletes studying or competing abroad as well as coaches and other support staff are eligible, the committee said.

“Additional priority groups will soon be added as facilities are prepared, including for those with physical disabilities,” the committee said. 

Previously, the vaccine was open only to healthcare workers, people 60 and over, and members of the uniformed branches.

The committee said details on the resumption of vaccinations on Eleuthera and the vaccine rollout on Abaco will be announced by the end of the week.

Eligible people are required to make an appointment at www.vax.gov.bs. 

Atlantis announced yesterday that professionals in the hospitality industry will be able to receive the vaccine at the resort starting Friday, April 9. 

Vaccinations will take place in the Prince of Wales and Crown ballrooms in the Beach Towers between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting April 9 to Wednesday, April 14.

“While not mandatory for Atlantis employees to be vaccinated, we encourage our team members to participate in inoculation as it will provide another layer of protection against this deadly virus,” Atlantis said. 

“The global effort to vaccinate will support The Bahamas and our tourism industry in regaining a level of normalcy.”

The Bahamas received 53,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last month. 

An additional 67,200 doses secured through the COVAX Facility are expected in country next month.

Minister of Health Renward Wells said the government is open to sourcing different vaccines noting that he’s fielded calls from many Bahamians who want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We’re seeking to see how we can source Johnson & Johnson as well as the others,” he said.

“Pfizer, we are going to have our ultra low temperature storage refrigerators in country at the beginning of May, which is about another month, so we will be able to bring in Pfizer if we need to.

“We also have other facilities in country now, where we could store Pfizer if we were able to access it.”

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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