Submitted by Whisper
Back in February 2021, according to Acting Prime Minister, Santia Bradshaw, a regional company tried to secure one million “non-existent” AstraZeneca vaccine doses through a Florida-based company for $10.2 million US dollars from a legitimate manufacturer for the government of Barbados, in a deal that did not include Barbados taxpayers money.
Acting Prime Minister, Santia Bradshaw briefly outlined the government of Barbados’s private business Covid vaccine procurement deal during her press conference on Wednesday September 22 2021.
“Bradshaw said the deal was struck this past February when vaccines were not readily available, and the government was using any means necessary to secure them for Barbados.”
“We agreed to facilitate one million vaccines because for those who understand the process they would realise it is not something that you can just say, ‘I want 50, I want 100, I want 2 000’”, she said.
However by February 2021, India donated 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca with an expiry date of May 29 2021 to the government of Barbados.
Then on May 24 2021, during the COVID Communications Unit’s ‘COVID Queries’ series
press conference, Co-Coordinator of the Barbados National Vaccination Program, Major David Clarke discussed the Covid vaccine supplies and expiry issues:
“Major David Clarke, outlined that unlike some other countries, including Malawi, which recently destroyed almost 20,000 expired vaccines due to a slow uptake of persons interested in receiving the jab against COVID-19, Barbados will not have any expired shots”
“I can assure you that Barbados will not be throwing away any of its vaccine. We will finish two weeks before the expiry date,” he stressed.
Many months passed and the situation regarding Covid vaccine supplies in Barbados changed significantly.
On September 20 2021, newly appointed COVID-19 Public Advisor David Ellis and the co-coordinator of the National Vaccination Programme, Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand hosted a press conference.
During this meeting, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand revealed and stressed that AstraZeneca doses in Barbados remain unused and expire some time near October 31 2021:
“Barbados is dangerously close to losing out on precious doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Thousands of doses of a third tranche the country received to fight the COVID-19 virus expire next month, and the current uptake of the drug [in Barbados] may not be enough to see each dose being administered before October 31 2021.”
“Pfizer vaccine became available five weeks ago, [in Barbados] but should the AstraZeneca not be used, meetings might have to be held with the Prime Minister to decide the future of the unused drug.”
Since then, retired broadcast journalist, David Ellis was recently hired by the government of Barbados as a Covid-19 Public Advisor to encourage the nation’s residents to get covid-19 vaccinated by using the media to build the public’s trust. In the week of September 20 2021, media advisor David Ellis stated:
“We are examining initiatives aimed at trying to address exactly that,” said Ellis. “There are different methods that have to be used, such as community engagement, influencers, all forms of media and all of this is under active consideration.
Whether or not public trust can be rebuilt by the government of Barbados, the media and public advisors, thousands of doses of AstraZeneca sit stored in Barbados that will expiry some time near October 31 2021.
So now what?