STILL WAITING: Dahl-Regis says PAHO due to receive The Bahamas’ vaccine allotment on April 4 – EyeWitness News

Posted: March 31, 2021 at 5:32 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee Chair Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis said yesterday that notwithstanding reports to the contrary, the Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO) last advice concerning The Bahamas receiving its allotment of COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX Facility has not changed.

PAHO is expected to receive the vaccine doses for The Bahamas on April 4.

There were concerns raised among some quarters of the public after PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement that The Bahamas was not specified as a recipient of the vaccines scheduled for the end of the week, though Minister of Health Renward Wells and Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis have indicated vaccines through the COVAX Facility were expected to arrive by the end of this month.

Dahl-Regis said she reached out to PAHO and the date provided has not changed.

I have had no updates from PAHO, Dahl-Regis told Eyewitness News.

The only update I have was that it was due from the manufactures in the Netherlands on April 4 and I have not received any updates.

That was the last communication I have had with PAHO.

Asked when the vaccines could arrive in The Bahamas, Dahl-Regis said the committee has to await the delivery to PAHO before speaking to them about the time frame.

She said she did not wish to speculate.

Weve had a number of dates and that was the last date Ive have, she said.

And you know there are global issues with supply.

During a press conference on Tuesday, PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne assured that the organization was doing all it can to accelerate access to vaccines in the region.

The PAHO director said: Following PAHOs negotiations with the COVAX partners, we have ensured that 21 countries in the Americas will receive their first deployment of vaccines by the end of this week. And in early April, all countries in our region will be able to receive their first deployment of vaccines. This is good news.

Yesterday, PAHO/WHO said it understands the urgent need for vaccines as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to provide safe, effective vaccines through the COVAX Facility.

As the leader in public health, PAHO/WHO will continue to support countries in vaccine deployment and the response to the pandemic, read the statement.

Exportation halt

This week, India, one of the largest manufactures of AstraZeneca, suspended exporting the vaccine to shore up domestic supplies as cases of the virus surge across the country.

While there have also been reports of a mutant strain of COVID in India, there were insufficient cases to attribute the increase in infection to the new strain.

Of the halted exports of AstraZeneca from India, Dahl-Regis said: It is concerning; yes, it is.

Asked if The Bahamas had any assurance, the health consultant said: I can only tell you the last thing I got, the last communication. I have no further information.

The government rolled out its vaccination program with 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca donated from the government of India.

It intends to provide the first dose to the same number of people.

AstraZeneca is a two-dose vaccine, with recommendations for the second dose to be administered within 12 weeks.

While there are other manufactures of the vaccine, the suspension from India raises questions about The Bahamas ability to secure additional doses in time to provide a second dose to recipients of the first dose.

See more here:

STILL WAITING: Dahl-Regis says PAHO due to receive The Bahamas' vaccine allotment on April 4 - EyeWitness News

Related Post