The New Today

Local News

Grenada receives 1000 COVID-19 vaccines from India

Health Minister Steele – seen accepting a box of COVID-19 vaccinations at the Maurice Bishop International Airport on Wednesday

Grenada received its first batch of 1000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine on Wednesday as part of a shared gift from the Indian Government negotiated by Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, which would be administered to frontline workers in the first instance.

Prior to receiving the vaccines, which arrived at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) via the RSS aircraft on Wednesday, Health Minister Nickolas Steele, told the weekly Post-Cabinet press briefing that Grenada was expecting “the delivery of two shipments of 6000 (AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India) between Wednesday and Thursday” this week.

Speaking with the Government Information Service shortly after receiving the vaccines, which arrived at MBIA via the RSS aircraft, Minister Steele described the moment as one that marks the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel.

“Today marks as far as I am concerned the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel, seeing the end of this COVID-19 threat that we have been surviving and dealing with.

“So (we received) this first 1000, then later on today or tomorrow we will have another 5000 doses,” he said.

Grenada is also scheduled to receive 45,600 Covid-19 vaccines under the COVAX facility, with delivery estimated to begin in late February under the World Health Organisation (WHO), Emergency Use Listing (EUL) Procedure, a risk-based procedure for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and in vitro diagnostics with the ultimate aim of expediting the availability of these products to people affected by a public health emergency.

Minister Steele explained that the “intention is to ensure, because there is an urgent need for vaccination, that we have the vaccines to coincide with WHO approval or to come immediately after those regional authorities’ approval, which is the case in this instance…and as such we are in the process of beginning vaccination of our population.”

These authorities are the United States-based Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Public Health Agency of Canada and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Minister Steele, who told Wednesday’s Post-cabinet briefing that he is “looking forward to get the first dose of the vaccination as soon as possible,” along with “many other individuals,” said that the vaccination will be rolled out in an “orderly planned manner” with frontline workers in health getting first priority followed by the workers in other essential sectors and persons with underlying health conditions and then persons over the age of 65.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles who accompanied the minister at Wednesday’s press conference, outlined the vaccination plan, which he said is based on a number of principles.

“It is our desire to offer protection to persons who bear significantly additional risk and burden of Covid-19 as they try to safeguard the health and well-being of other individuals,” he said.

“Given that we have not received all of the doses we would like to have from the start, we have come up with a formula or order of priority as to how this will be deployed. First, we going to vaccinate populations with an elevated risk of being infected,” he added.

In addition to receiving COVID-19 vaccines, Minister Steele announced that Cabinet has decided to continue with the curfew but with slight variation, with the new hours running from 10.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m. instead of 5.00 a.m.

“The reason for that change is that there is a significant number of farmers, fishermen and persons who exercise on mornings who have been restricted by the 5.00 a.m. end of curfew and these are activities we want to accommodate if not encourage at this point in time,” he told reporters.

The Cabinet also approved an increase for the number of persons who can attend weddings and funerals, and the return of the 3-feet physical distancing at schools.

Fifty people can now attend funerals and weddings, but special permission will be needed from the Police Force to increase the numbers. Previously, the regulations had given a limitation of 20 persons.

According to Health officials, as of Wednesday there were no new positive cases or active cases of Covid-19 being monitored on the island.

However, 197 individual who travelled to the island from abroad are at various stages in the quarantine process and will be tested once the time has arrived for them to be tested for the virus

If you are satisfied with the information provided by The New Today to our many readers, followers and supporters around the world, then you can show your appreciation by making a financial contribution to the effort of our team of dedicated workers.

Giving back is a way of saying thank you for our efforts

Support The New Today