#TheBahamas, February 3, 2021 – Right around Valentine’s is when The Bahamas should begin receiving its first allotment of the Covid-19 vaccine; but the latest data on the brand poised for delivery to The Bahamas – Oxford/AstraZeneca – is recommended for only people under 65-years of age.
A statement from the Ministry of Health in The Bahamas explained: “COVAX, a coalition led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi (Vaccine Alliance), informed Bahamian health authorities that The Bahamas could receive 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, starting the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021.”
The dispatch is enough for 40,000 residents of The Bahamas and the plan is to get frontline health care workers that shot in the arm first. Experts say the jab will arm them against the potential ravages of Covid19 which has killed 176 people across the archipelago.
As many as 72 health care workers in The Bahamas had been infected with the coronavirus up to September 2020; there have also been a concerning number of deaths of medical staff to the contagion.
The Bahamas Government was among the countries which committed $2 million for enough vaccines to inoculate around 20 percent of the population. In January, the Vaccination Strategy was unveiled.
Now, the WHO’s consortium has come through it seems, for The Bahamas, home to 400,000 people.
“The Government of The Bahamas has received formal notification from COVAX of the estimated COVID-19 vaccine dose allocation for the first phase of delivery to The Bahamas. The AstraZeneca vaccine has received Emergency Use Listing (EUL) approval from WHO.”
The announcement comes amidst growing skepticism about taking any of the vaccines and just as France discourages the double-dose vaccine from being administered to anyone under 65-year- old, citing a lack of research to support effectiveness.
Still, the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine is approved by the EU and has an efficacy of 76 percent without the second booster shot; people are protected from 22 days after the jab. The effectiveness of this brand increases to 82.4 percent once patients have had the second jab. The shots should be within three months.
Bahamians will learn more when the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee holds a press conference on Thursday 4 February 2021 at 5pm.
The Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory in The Bahamas.