Grenada has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, with Health Minister Nickolas Steele saying that hundreds of frontline workers in the health and tourism sectors and law enforcement personnel are expected to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs next week.
Although Grenada is scheduled to receive 45,600 COVID-19 vaccines under the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX Facility, with delivery estimated to begin later this month, the country on Wednesday got 1,000 doses of the vaccine which was part of a shared gift negotiated with the government of India by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Steele said a vaccination programme will be rolled out in an orderly fashion, with frontline workers in health getting it first, followed by other essential workers, then persons with underlying medical conditions and those over the age of 65.
“Our vaccination plan is on a number of fundamental principles. It is our desire to offer protection to persons who bear significant additional risk and burden of COVID-19 as they try to safeguard the health and wellbeing of other individuals,” added Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles.
“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 are going to vaccinate populations with an elevated risk of being infected.”
Minister Steele warned that even after being immunized, residents would still have to comply with the existing protocols, as he stressed that the successful fight against COVID-19 involves a mix of vaccination and public health regulations, such as wearing face masks in public and physical distancing.