Minnis Hoping for Smooth Vaccine Rollout
The Minnis administration is pulling all of its resources to ensure a smooth vaccine rollout, as the distribution plan is in its final stages of completion, according to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.
Minnis in a national address on Sunday said drive-thru sites, mobile units and assistance from the US embassy are being used to ensure Bahamians wanting the vaccine will be vaccinated.
The big picture
The country is expected to receive the first batch of the 100,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine beginning this month.
The government has also secured a commitment from the Government of India for a small quantity of AstraZeneca vaccines from a WHO/Emergency Use Listing (EUL)-approved manufacturer in India.
What the PM says
“The government continues to work on all fronts to secure additional approved vaccines for the Bahamas,” said Minnis.
“Officials are speaking directly with multiple suppliers to obtain more WHO/EUL approved vaccines.”
Minnis assured that the government will only accept COVID-19 vaccines that are pre-qualified for use by the World Health Organization and approved by stringent regulatory authorities.
He urged all who are eligible to get vaccinated.
“I will take the vaccine,” he said. “I will urge family and friends to take the vaccine.
“By getting vaccinated you will help the country to return to a greater level of normalcy. By getting vaccinated you will also help our economy to recover faster. When a large percentage of Bahamians are vaccinated, we will be able to responsibly open up even more.”
Details of the distribution
- Healthcare workers, people over the age of 65, uniformed branch members and frontline workers will be among the first priority groups eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on New Providence and Grand Bahama.
- Critical workers in high-risk settings and other essential service workers will also be included among the first groups.
- On the Family Islands, all eligible residents who choose to take the vaccine will be vaccinated at the same time. The schedule will not follow the prioritized group rollout on the islands.
- The US Embassy has offered to assist with air transportation to the Family Islands during the vaccine rollout, particularly the smaller islands and cays.
- 8 to10 vaccination sites have been identified on New Providence, inclusive of drive-thru sites.
- Sites have also already been identified on Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.
- Mobile units will be used to safely distribute vaccines to vulnerable populations in their communities; focus will be placed on high-risk populations where COVID-19 has occurred.
- Health officials and the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee are looking at additional platforms to increase access to and ensure equity of distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to all communities.
- Vaccine appointment software is very near completion and is expected to be rolled out in advance of distribution, for scheduling of appointments digitally.
- For those without access to the internet, appointment centers will be set up to provide assistance with making appointments to receive the vaccine.