Remarks on Arrival of Pfizer Vaccine
The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Thursday,12 August 2021
Minister of Health, the Hon. Renward Wells;
Cabinet and Parliamentary Colleagues
Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Usha Pitts;
Members of the Press;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today marks a significant moment and turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Receiving this first in a series of batches of the Pfizer vaccine will meet the demand for vaccines for the Bahamian people.
The Bahamas is one of the first to receive this generous donation from the United States in this grouping of Caribbean countries.
Over the coming months, The Bahamas is expected to receive a total of 397,000 doses donated by the United States Government.
I thank the Government of the United States of America, Caricom and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
I wish to especially thank President Joseph Biden and his Administration.
I also wish to thank the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, the Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts and other Embassy officials.
And I thank the Bahamian officials who helped in the process of securing these vaccines.
The U.S. Embassy has been a good partner.
The Embassy provided critical logistical support for the roll out of the vaccine in the Family Islands, and with additional freezers to store the Pfizer vaccine and other supplies.
The United States has again proven to be a good friend of The Bahamas.
In September 2019 after Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama, the United States helped with military assistance, humanitarian aid and restoration assistance.
Now, again, with this generous vaccine donation the United States is helping The Bahamas to save lives.
The Bahamian people are enormously grateful for this donation.
The Pfizer donation by the United States is the largest single vaccine donation we have received during the pandemic.
It will enable us to significantly ramp up our vaccination campaign.
The full donation of nearly 400,000 doses will enable us to fully vaccinate half of our population with the Pfizer vaccine.
The Bahamas now has the vaccines to meet the demand that exists.
What we need now is Bahamians to come forward quickly to take the vaccines.
We need Bahamians to get vaccinated as soon as possible to save lives in this country.
I say to the Bahamian people, you do not have time to wait any longer.
You do not have time to keep thinking about it.
The hospitals are full to the limit.
Sadly, some of our people are dying.
Taking the shots could save your life.
Not taking them could cost you your life.
By coming forward quickly we can save lives, end the emergency phase of the pandemic, restore our economy and jobs, and have more openness.
Yesterday in the House of Assembly I called for volunteers to come forward to help us with the vaccination campaign.
There are many important organizational and operational tasks Bahamians can assist with.
We need more people to help.
If you are available, please contact Mr. Barry Rassin, or Mr. Ed Fields to offer your services.
Fighting COVID-19 is a national and a team effort.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The infrastructure required for Pfizer has been met on New Providence and Grand Bahama, the two islands where most of the population reside.
We are an archipelagic nation of islands and cays and we are grateful that all of our islands and cays where people reside have had the opportunity to be vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Each site where the vaccine is being administered must meet the criteria for vaccine security, storage, transport and administration.
Pharmacists, nurses, physicians, data managers, and volunteers, to manage the flow of people coming to receive their vaccines are also required at each site.
A phased roll out of the Pfizer vaccine will begin as early as Monday the 16 of August.
Each component of the administration of this vaccine that requires specific attention will be evaluated and monitored to ensure an efficient and successful rollout as we move to increase out capacity to administer the vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine will be available to adults and children 12 to 17 years of age with the consent of a parent or guardian.
In the coming days, details will be released on the roll out of the Pfizer vaccine and scheduling for New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.
Four vaccination centers are now open on New Providence and one center on Grand Bahama.
Bahamians are coming out in large numbers to take the vaccine.
In the weeks ahead we have a tremendous amount of work to do.
Thank you and good morning.