Prime Minister Mia Mottley is hoping to have 50 000 Barbadians vaccinated in the next five weeks.
Speaking during a press briefing Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Mottley said that even though she was generally happy that more Barbadians have been coming forward to be vaccinated over the past few weeks, the rate is still not where it should be.
She has set a target of 10 000 Barbadians to be vaccinated per week.
Mottley revealed that 6 500 persons are currently being vaccinated in Barbados weekly. She pointed out that if the 10 000 target is met, the majority of persons living on the island will be vaccinated before Independence Day, and even Christmas.
This, she said, would allow for a significant review and removal of strict restrictions in place, including the curfews.
“Help us by protecting yourselves, by taking the vaccinations. The reality is that all six persons that have passed this week, and the few that passed since Delta, all without exception, have been unvaccinated.
“And that is why I said to you three weeks ago, that this is now proving to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And I maintain that because the evidence has proven to be not just in Barbados, but across the world.
She said 125 000 people have already received their first jab, resulting in Barbados, a small nation-state, having one of the highest percentages of persons vaccinated globally.
Mottley also indicated that Barbados is one of the few countries in the region that has embarked on a mobile vaccination programme to reach out to persons in communities.
“And there is a clear difference that has been made by the community pop up vaccines. Last week, in Bush Hall, as I said, on Sunday, I saw people stand up in the middle of rain, heavy rain where we had some flooding down in the community.
“And they waited because they wanted to be vaccinated to protect themselves, knowing full well that that vaccination in addition to the other things like masking, like sanitizing, like physical distancing would give them a level of protection that would make them feel better about going about their business on a daily basis,” she said.
The Prime Minister also indicated that a number of private entities have reached out to authorities inquiring whether their facilities can be used for some of the community pop-ups.
Additionally, Mottley said she has been advised this morning that training for medical doctors will commence tomorrow, to allow them to administer the COVID-19 vaccines at their offices.
The Prime Minister told Barbadians that in the majority of countries in North America, and other parts of the world, large sections of the population are vaccinated. She also reminded that in some countries, persons are unable to gain entry to public buildings unless they present a card stating that they have been vaccinated.
Mottley further urged Barbadians experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to seek medical attention early to give the doctors and nurses a chance to save them.
The Prime Minister extended gratitude to those health professionals and support staff working on the front lines in Barbados’ COVID-19 fight. (AH)