Nearly 1,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were transported to Abaco yesterday.
The 1,390 doses of Pfizer and 200 doses of Johnson & Johnson were donated by the United States.
Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis thanked the United States, including US Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts and the National Guard’s Rhode Island Brigade.
“We are in discussions to ensure that enough Pfizer vaccine arrives in The Bahamas and arrives in time to be able to see that we get our country fully vaccinated,” he said shortly before the vaccines were deployed.
“The vaccine is not the end-all tool to our challenges because, as you are aware, there could be breakthroughs. And so, while we insist that we all attempt to be and encourage persons to be vaccinated; we still are asking them to follow our COVID protocols.”
The Rhode Island Brigade worked with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to deliver the vaccines, according to Pitts.
She said they will head to other Family Islands, including Bimini, Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island, to carry out a similar deployment.
“This is our third mission of this type,” Pitts said.
“We should also note that the Rhode Island National Guard has been working with The Bahamas for over 15 years now. So this is one more iteration of that cooperation.”
The United States has promised to donate 397,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to The Bahamas.
In August, The Bahamas received its first tranche of 128,700 doses.
The three-tranche donation would be enough to fully vaccinate nearly 200,000 people.
Asked when the second tranche is expected, Pitts replied, “Well, we’re hoping to see it very soon. We want to keep the vaccination campaign up and running with a lot of momentum. You mention festivals like Junkanoo. We’ve got kids back in school.
“We’ve got an economy to recover and the way to do that is through the tool of vaccinations. We’re looking to get the second tranche here as soon as possible.”
As of September 18, a total of 184,461 doses of the COVID vaccine were administered to people in The Bahamas, according to officials.
A total of 73,901 people were fully vaccinated through the vaccination program up to that point.