Barbados: Barbados government will continue to fight against larger and developed nations in its quest to secure additional covid-19 vaccines for the citizens of the country.
Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, Chair of the coronavirus Health Communications Team, gave this assurance as the nation prepares to begin its national vaccination campaign in the coming week with the island’s leaders and frontline workers among the first to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Ambassador Thompson emphasized that there were rivals in the global marketplace for the vaccine. Barbados was a tiny island developing state with a “tiny population the size of a small town in the United States.”
Furthermore, Ambassador added, “There are nations with wealth and power and large populations getting vaccine products, and they can demand. The EU can order millions of vaccines. Africa can also order millions of vaccines. Other countries with folks that run into the tens or hundreds of millions can demand large doses of vaccines.
She added, “Where there is a limited product, and you are a manufacturer or vendor, it means that you have power in the marketplace, and you can determine who you sell to when you sell, and how much.”
Nevertheless, she remarked that Barbados became the first nation in the independent Caribbean to begin a national vaccination campaign, having secured its first 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca from India, which arrived on the island last night.
The Ambassador declared, “Now we have the Oxford-AstraZeneca, which is a high-quality vaccine, with high efficiency suited to our climatic conditions, and to our population, our demographic profile, attempts are continuing to guarantee that we have other vaccines because there are various types on the market,”
She added that a committee was discovered to determine the suitability and other relevant issues from a medical and logistical viewpoint and make recommendations to the government.
Though, she pointed out that pricing and availability courtesies would also have to be taken into consideration. “Just because a vaccine is in the market, it doesn’t mean that it is best suited to our conditions or that it is available to us for purchase.”
She stated, “The vaccine is here. We are in a good position. By comparison with many populations across the world, we are positioning ourselves to protect our public and boost our economy. A protected public is the first step to a vibrant and fully open economy,”