As the country awaits its share of the COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced an appointment of the COVID-19 Vaccine National Consultative Committee to ensure the proper distribution of the vaccine when it becomes available.
In his New Year National Address on Tuesday evening, Minnis said the vaccines will ensure a reopening of the country in the coming months.
The Committee is chaired by Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, OD, CMG, and is made up of public health experts, and representatives of various sectors, including, religious and community leaders.
Why it matters?
Successful vaccines like Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, and Oxford University-AstraZeneca are now available on the world market.
The Bahamas has already secured vaccines for 20% of the population, through the COVAX Facility and World Health and Pan American Health Organisations.
The Bahamas awaits its share.
Minnis on restrictions and vaccine availability
- Dr. Minnis did not say exactly when the restrictions and curfews will be relaxed, but he said he is targetting the coming months.
“Thankfully, because there are now successful vaccines for COVID-19, our country, and our economy, are set to reopen more fully in the months ahead.
“The end is in sight. Restrictions will end. We will get back to our way of life. Jobs and the economy, are coming back.
- Minnis, aware that variants of COVID-19 have evolved in countries around the world, he said if the variants come into the country, the Bahamian people can expect tighter measures to fight the infection.
“We still have a few more months to go, especially as the pandemic continues to rage, in countries all around us.
“Internationally, more infectious variants of the virus have evolved, and been detected. It is possible, that cases will rise again before vaccines arrive. If this happens, as a Government and people, we will have to return, to some of the measures that worked, to beat back previous waves. Through our experience during the pandemic year, we now know the formula that works,” Minnis said.