COVID-19 vaccination teams to return to the Family Islands this week, vaccinations to be ramped up in Grand Bahama

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COVID-19 vaccination teams are scheduled to return to the Family Islands this week, starting on mainland Abaco, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced Sunday in an address to the nation. The Prime Minister said vaccination efforts will also be ramped up in Grand Bahama this week, including the opening of an additional center, weekend hours and additional vaccination opportunities in the eastern and western areas of the island. The Pfizer vaccine will also be administered on Grand Bahama starting this week. And vaccination teams from New Providence will be sent to Grand Bahama to assist local health teams. The Prime Minister said that for the initial rollout of the 38,400 doses of the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine received last Thursday, the vaccine will be administered to Family Island residents and homebound residents who have not yet received the vaccine and wish to do so.

Second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will also be administered in the Family Islands and the Pfizer vaccine will also be made available to Family Island residents 12 and over. “Doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have already been sent to San Salvador,” said the Prime Minister.

“Vaccination teams will be returning to the Family Islands starting with mainland Abaco on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The following week, vaccination teams are expected to return to Exuma and Eleuthera.” The Prime Minister said the full schedule of vaccinations for the Family Islands will be released in the coming days. The Government will partner with private health care providers to maximize the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, said Prime Minister Minnis.

Private health care providers who can demonstrate that they have the infrastructure and human resources, and who can meet the criteria to safely administer the vaccine and collect the data appropriately, will be able to administer government-procured vaccines.

The Prime Minister also provided an update on the oxygen supply. “I am advised that 3,000 gallons of oxygen were delivered at the end of last week in Grand Bahama and 2,500 gallons on New Providence,” said the Prime Minister.

“Today, Princess Margaret Hospital has approximately 7,500 gallons of liquid oxygen. Bahamas Welding & Fire also presently has 2,500 gallons of liquid oxygen to supply to the clinics, and to the South Beach Clinic.”

Additional supplies are already in the delivery pipeline to restore normal supplies, and next week and each week thereafter, 12,000 gallons of liquid oxygen are expected to arrive in country, providing the supply needed, said Prime Minister Minnis. The Prime Minister reported that as of Saturday 21 August, 129,017 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in The Bahamas.

Fifty-five thousand two-hundred and ninety-one Bahamians and residents are fully vaccinated. This includes those who have been fully vaccinated abroad and have registered on the vax.gov.bs portal.

“I am pleased to report that last week along, from Monday the 16th of August to Saturday the 21st of August, 11,496 doses of the vaccine were administered,” said the Prime Minister. “The majority of these were first doses.” On New Providence, 70 percent of the doses administered were first doses and on Grand Bahama, 53 percent were first doses, he said. “These are significant and very good numbers,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “We are making progress, though we still have much work to do.”

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