Jamaica, a member state of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is a beneficiary in receiving help with the down payment of COVAX vaccines when they become available, to immunize 20 per cent of the population.
CARPHA has provided information on Caribbean territories’ equitable access to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility.
The aid comes though CARPHA with funding from the European Union (EU) at a time when the world’s COVID-19 figures surpass one million, with over 4,000 reported in 33 territories of the Caribbean .
The EU has entered into an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization as an implementing partner to support member states’ participation in the COVAX facility, through assistance with the required down payment for vaccines when they become available.
Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John says,” we have been able to support Antigua, Barbados, BVI, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands with 100 per cent of the down payment required for the COVAX Facility,” she explained.
She says once a down payment has been made through CARPHA or a loan elsewhere these countries would have made arrangements for full payments.
To add, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization says the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus is to develop a vaccine effective enough to protect those who are most at risk. He says there are almost 200 vaccine candidates who are proposing a vaccine.
He says it is the hope of the medical community that one or more of those vaccines will be effective and safe for use.
CVM LIVE’s Paige Dixon reports: