Twin island set to receive Pfizer vaccines from the US

This illustration picture taken on November 23, 2020 shows a bottle reading "Vaccine Covid-19" and a syringe next to the Pfizer and Biontech logo. - The European Commission has signed five contracts to pre-order vaccines, among which with the U.S.-German company Pfizer-BioNTech (up to 300 million doses). (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
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By Carlena Knight

[email protected]

Antigua and Barbuda will add another Covid-19 vaccine to it inventory as the country is expected to receive an undisclosed sum of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

Since early last month, the twin island nation was confirmed to be one of several Caribbean countries that will receive a gift of vaccines from the United States.

At the time, there was no confirmation on whether the country would be gifted with the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph revealed Wednesday that the country will be receiving the German manufactured vaccine.

“Well, it appears we are going to get Pfizer and as you know it’s coming through the Caricom mechanism. The prime minister is now Chairman of Caricom so he will be working hard to speed up the process so we are hoping that the Pfizer that is being promised will arrive here in Antigua very soon,” Sir Molwyn explained. 

Last month, the US announced they will donate by month’s end millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean as well as several other countries.

About 19 million of those initial 25 million doses would be shared with COVAX.

 Seven million doses of the COVAX will go to Asia, six million to Latin America and the Caribbean, and five million to Africa.

Another six million vaccine doses will be donated directly to several countries that are considered strategic foreign policy partners, some of whom are struggling with surging infection rates, including Mexico, Canada and Haiti. 

This list also includes South Korea, Ukraine, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.

Despite there having been a commitment that the donations to the region would be made at the end of the month, the minister shared that there is still no definite date for when Antigua and Barbuda will receive its portion. 

He did however explain that the allocation of doses will be based on the population size of the country as Trinidad and Tobago has already been advised about their allocation of vaccines. 

The addition of this vaccine will move the country’s count to four as they already have the Oxford AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Sinopharm. 

To date, only the AstraZeneca has been rolled out to the public but it has been previously reported that the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine will be used here in the near future. 

The 1,000 doses of the Sputnik V will however remain in storage as there has still been no approval from the World Health Organization for its use.

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