PM: Survey shows more people willing to take COVID jab

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Almost 80 per cent of Barbadians who were surveyed during Operation Seek and Save were willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said today that although 55 per cent of Barbadians who were interviewed initially expressed hesitancy and concern about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, by the end of the programme, more people felt comfortable taking the jab.

Mottley said that as the initiative went on the trajectory changed, with almost eight out of every ten Barbadians indicating that they wanted to get vaccinated.

More than 63 000 people have received their first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Barbados.

Operation Seek And Save was an initiative aimed at identifying and assisting people in the community who were at risk of contracting COVID-19. About 85 000 households were assessed during the initiative which was conducted in February.

Mottley was speaking at Grantley Adams International Airport today after a Northern Air Cargo plane bringing 33 600 vaccines to Barbados from Miami under the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) programme, touched down around 7 a.m.

Officials, including Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic and members of the diplomatic corps, were on the tarmac as airline workers offloaded boxes of the vaccine.

Bostic said that he and other health officials were happy to receive the vaccines and thanked the Pan American Health Organisation for facilitating the delivery.

The minister said the vaccines would help ministry officials to manage the virus so that people could enjoy what they normally did, which was a very important thing.

The main purpose of the COVAX programme is to ensure global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The programme is led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), the Coalition for Edpidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and other global organisations.

In the Americas, the PAHO Revolving Fund is the recognised procurement agent for COVAX. (SB)

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