Bahamas’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMilian says that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the country during the first quarter of this year.
Speaking during a press conference on Friday, she could not give a definitive timeline for a vaccine’s arrival or significant details about the vaccination protocol.
McMillan said healthcare workers, frontline workers, people who are high-risk for catching the virus or succumbing to the disease are prioritized for the vaccination first.
She added that a phased approach will ensure that high-risk groups are immunized, then other groups.
Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis – who is a medical doctor, said ongoing mitigation measures will be required to combat the effects of the new variants of COVID-19 if they are found in The Bahamas.
“The virus is more infectious, not necessarily more devastating in terms of the degree of the illness that it might cause, so one has to follow the same mitigation processes in terms of facial masks, social distancing and sanitation,” he told reporters.
“I think once we follow that we will be okay. We will monitor the situation.”
“We just came out of the Thanksgiving festival. We watched and expected an increase. The increase was marginal but manageable, it did not cause any serious issues. We came out of the Christmas, I think we are coming out of that now, the 14-day (incubation period) and therefore we expected an increase. It’s manageable. We will be watching to see what happens between now and Wednesday because that will be the time we will see the effects,” the Prime Minister said.