By Shermain Bique-Charles
Well over 90 percent of the Barbudan population has received the first Covid-19 jab, and the resident doctor is anticipating that the tiny island will soon achieve full vaccination status.
According to Dr Jeremy Deazle, to date, a total of 1,026 people on the sister isle have taken either one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with 445 residents being fully vaccinated while 581 have received the first dose.
“We are currently moving towards a fully vaccinated population among people who are eligible to take the vaccine, so, things are looking up,” Dr Deazle said.
“When we started our vaccination drive, we hoped to vaccinate 500 people but, as you can see, we are way past that.”
However, he said there is still a small percentage of the population who are reluctant to take the vaccine, and some of these people include those who received the first shot.
However, in spite of the success Dr Deazle is advising Barbudans to continue to practice proper health protocols.
“Things have been moving around very nicely, we haven’t had cases for the past few months, but we cannot let our guards down. We notice in Antigua there have been spikes in cases but we realise it’s the summer where we have an influx of tourists,” he said.
The health official said the cases on the mainland could trickle over to Barbuda, which is even more reason why residents on the sister isle should exercise caution.
“We hope our screening remains as effective, and as long as people uphold the protocols, maintain social distancing, sanitise and use their face masks, then things should be alright,” he said.
In Antigua and Barbuda, the latest figures from the Ministry of Health revealed that only 38,146 residents have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, of which 30,704 have received the second dose.
However, another 30,000 people need to be fully vaccinated in order for the country to achieve herd immunity.