Antigua and Barbuda received 24,000 doses of vaccine against the Astrazeneca coronavirus from the COVAX facility on Thursday morning. The doses arrived in a cargo plane at VC Bird International Airport.
The vaccines received by Antigua and Barbuda from the COVAX facility are doses of Astrazeneca manufactured by SK Bioscience South Korea.
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Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Brown said Astrazeneca’s 24,000 vaccines will help the country immunize residents and citizens.
“Achieving national immunity is essential to get back to normal,” added Prime Minister Browne.
On top of that, he said getting the shot is not just a personal decision, but a decision in the national interest to get the shot.
The Prime Minister urged all eligible citizens to come forward and get vaccinated. He added that Antigua and Barbuda planned to receive a total of 41,000 vaccines from the COVAX facility while previously 40,000 doses had been received from the Indian government.
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He added that 20,000 doses of vaccine from the People’s Republic of China are expected to be received within a week. On top of that, 1,000 doses from Russia will arrive on British Airways on Saturday, while another 1,000 will be received two weeks later.
The prime minister also noted that the Russian and Chinese vaccines are equally effective in protecting against the virus.
COVAX Facility is a global enterprise between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, PAHO and WHO.
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The arrival ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Gaston Brown Lindsy Thompson and the Consuls General, Chief Medical Officer Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas and Permanent Secretary Ena Henry, Molwyn Joseph and EP Chet Greene.
Antigua and Barbuda, like other Caribbean countries, depends on the tourism sector. To energize the tourism sector, it is eminent that people come forward to get vaccinated.