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Vaccine supply running low

57,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine expected next month 

With The Bahamas’ supply of vaccines diminishing, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville said yesterday that roughly 57,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in country early next month.

“We expect more in the country – from my understanding as I stand today – somewhere in the first week of November,” Darville said.

“I need to confirm that with the vaccination consultative committee. There was a little bit of challenge as a result of the COVAX Facility where there [are] some 54,000 or maybe 57,000 doses that [were] supposed to be in country now. There is some delay and I was told up to yesterday that we’re looking at the first week of November.”

On Monday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that, due to diminishing supplies of the vaccine, first doses of Pfizer will no longer be offered as of October 14.

As of October 23, second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be offered, according to the ministry, which added that, consequently, the Pfizer vaccine will be made available as a second dose instead.

When asked yesterday if there are concerns about running out of vaccines, Darville replied, “Not really. We have to make sure that we’re able to provide the necessary second dose. Today is actually the 12th, so we’re looking at about two weeks. We believe we have enough supplies.

“But you know, in the vaccine world, people like choices; and so there may be some people who want Pfizer and if they can’t get the first dose of Pfizer, they [may] decide to wait until the supplies are on island early next month.”

According to the ministry, as of Saturday, 115,153 people were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in The Bahamas (including Johnson & Johnson vaccine), and a total of 127,798 people had received at least one dose of a vaccine (not including Johnson & Johnson).

A total of 238,512 doses of the COVID vaccines were administered to people in The Bahamas.

The national vaccination campaign has been ongoing since March.

The Bahamas has secured more than 500,000 doses of three vaccines: Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

The government is still awaiting more than 250,000 doses of Pfizer, which were donated by the United States.

Darville said he has inquired about the arrival of the doses from the US.

“I’m being told that the process is in play,” he said.

“As you are aware, they were donations of vaccines from the United States, not only for The Bahamas but the entire region. We are close and cannot give a date at this particular time, but we will definitely receive those vaccines.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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