Work ongoing to determine most suitable vaccine for A&B

Dr Courtney Lewis
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By Theresa Goodwin

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The feasibility of transporting a preferred Covid-19 vaccine to Antigua – plus storing and distributing it – are some of the factors currently under consideration by health authorities.

Dr Courtney Lewis, a member of the National Technical Working Group on the Covid-19 vaccine, made that disclosure during a state media interview on Tuesday.

“We are looking at the cost that is involved in the vaccine, how people of Antigua and Barbuda actually feel about the vaccines and which one they trust. We are also looking at the trials and the outcome of the trials,” he said.

“We do not care if the vaccine is expensive; if it works the best then it’s definitely going to be one of the frontrunners for us. Our goal is to ensure that the population in Antigua and Barbuda have the best that they can possibly get,” Dr Lewis explained.

He continued that once more information comes to the committee, members will deliberate on it and this process will be followed up with a series of consultations with the general public.

The medical official also said they have yet to determine who will get the shots first. In most countries worldwide, frontline workers and the elderly are the first in line to be vaccinated.

“We are thinking now about which vaccine would be the best for the population. Once we make that decision then it would be easier to plan ahead as to who are the most vulnerable and who should get the vaccine first,” the doctor said.

Antigua and Barbuda is depending on an access facility known as COVAX to secure thousands of doses.

COVAX was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Commission and France to help find a suitable vaccine and to ensure that everyone in the world has fair access to it.

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