Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy, Bridgetown, Larry Socha (left) in conversation with Chief Medical Officer, The Most Hon, Dr. Kenneth George (second left) in front of the shipment of Pfizer vaccines donated by the US Government. Also pictured are: Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands (third right); and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Browne (second right) and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, The Most Hon. Janet Phillips (right). (B. Hinds/BGIS)
Author: Joy-Ann Gill/BGIS
Barbados today received 129,600 Pfizer vaccines from the United States (US) Government.
The gift was presented to Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Browne; Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, and Chief Medical Officer, The Most Hon. Dr. Kenneth George, at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Public Affairs Officer with the US Embassy, Bridgetown, Larry Socha, speaking on behalf of the US Ambassador to Barbados, Linda Taglialatela, acknowledged that the US was “very proud” to work with Barbados on the donation.
“It is through partnerships with Barbados, with the Ministry of Health here, with CARICOM, that we are able to realise this donation and together work to fight against the pandemic and work to defeat it, so that together we can work to restore the health and prosperity of Barbados and the Caribbean as a whole.
“So, the US Embassy is very happy to be here to work with our partners. This is part of over 200,000 vaccines that were donated to the Caribbean this week,” he stated.
Mr. Socha also shared that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US had donated more than 200 million vaccines worldwide, and remained happy to have Barbados as a partner in the effort.
Minister Sandra Husbands, describing the US as “a longtime friend of Barbados and CARICOM”, expressed appreciation for the donation.
She said Barbados was deeply appreciative of the gift because of the state of vaccine availability across the world for small island developing states.
“It makes a difference in the fight in order for us to defeat COVID; that we can all go back to normal; get economic recovery, so that we can live our normal lives again; so our thanks to the United States for this tremendous gift,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Browne, stressed that the fight against COVID-19 would continue, in terms of getting the vaccine administered to those who wanted it, or needed the booster.
Adding that the donation was a most important gesture now that the protocols were being relaxed and face-to-face classes about to restart, she told Mr. Socha: “We look forward to sometime in the future, getting the children under 12 also vaccinated and I’m hoping the US Government participates in that when it’s ready.”