By Leon Norville
Honorable Prime Minister (PM) Gaston Browne revealed that Antigua and Barbuda has one of the highest incidences of active Covid cases in the entire world on a per capita basis.
Browne said, “This means that the entire world is watching us, and if we do not get those cases down again, as I said before, the implications will be extremely serious.”
Within the next few weeks, the Prime Minister is hoping to vaccinate at least 50 percent of the country’s population, if people make themselves available to take the Sputnik as well as the Chinese Sinopharm vaccines.
To date, the government has vaccine commitments totaling approximately 100,000, and two vaccines. This includes 20,000 doses from the Peoples Republic of China scheduled to arrive within a matter of weeks and 2000 vaccines that is being donated by the Russians.
PM Browne disclosed on Thursday that the first 1000 doses will arrive from Russia today on British Airways at about 1:00 pm, with another 1000 doses two weeks later.
He also confirmed that the Russians have agreed to sell Antigua and Barbuda Sputnik vaccines on a commercial basis when the country has completed the first two thousand vaccines. This he said will help in moving closer towards vaccinating perhaps up to 80 percent of the population.
PM Browne urged the public to learn as much as possible about the Russian and Chinese vaccines saying, “it will be a shame that we bring 20,000 Sinopharm and a few thousand Sputnik and they remain in storage because of the ignorance that they were not manufactured perhaps in the United Kingdom or by the United States.”
Both vaccines he said have an efficacy of over 90 percent standing on par with Moderna and Pfizer which he revealed we are now able to access.
The people of Antigua and Barbuda were also commended because the country ranks as one of the highest in terms of the rate of vaccinations.
PM Browne said he is sure that 10,000 doses of vaccine will be delivered next week, which will put the country in a better position.