Caricom countries are in line to get more vaccines delivered from the United States, details of which are expected in a speech by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee this evening at 7 pm EST. The powerful and influential Democrat will speak at the monthly town hall “Let’s Connect,” which is being hosted by Ambassador Audrey Marks in Washington DC. The congresswoman will also speak on US foreign policy.
Most countries in the Caribbean are having issues accessing covid vaccines. The main barriers, according to Caribbean Development Bank president Dr. Hyginus Leon, are “supply and costs related” issues.
On July 1, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne reported that the US will deliver 6 million of the 25 million doses of the vaccine that were earmarked for fifteen member countries including CARICOM states. She admitted however that “the reality is… we still face a glaring gap in access to vaccines”.
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley indicated earlier this month that ” There have been one or two little hiccups” regarding the delivery of the promised vaccines from the United States.
Stakeholders are hoping that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee shares the solutions to these hiccups so that more persons can be vaccinated in the Caribbean.
Ambassador Marks will also be joined by two powerful Jamaican tech titans. Guests will hear from Mr. Kevin Reid – the former co-founder CEO and CTO of VirtuStream. The company was acquired by EMC for $1.2 Billion, just seven years after he and his partner co-founded it. He is currently the co-founder at Blue Lagoon Capital and an active contributor to his family charity which is focused on funding education and sports initiatives in Jamaica, among other ventures.
Then there is Dr. Lloyd Carney former CEO of Brocade until its acquisition to Braodcom for $5.5 Billion. He is currently Chief Acquisition Officer at Carney Technology Acquisition Corp and an active contributor to the Silicon Valley Start-up Common (SVSC) which is an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors arranged to help get start-ups off the ground and grow. He also established Carney Global Ventures, LLC, an early-round investor focused on proven individuals with creative technology ideas, among other ventures.
These two along with Andrew Walker; convenor of the Jamooglers and Honorary Consul David Sangster will round off the list of speakers.