The first shipment in what will total to 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Dominica on Tuesday, September 21 2021.
A small ceremony was held at the Douglas Charles Airport, where Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, along with the Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre welcomed the arrival of the vaccines.
Prime Minister Skerrit described the donation as significant as the country continues to fight the covid-19 pandemic.
“This event is of particular significance to us as we contend with a surge of covid-19 infections in Dominica. Over the past two months, our health system has been stretched to capacity as health care providers and support staff continue to work around the clock to contain the spike in cases, in addition to providing regular health services to all our other citizens in need,” PM Skerrit stated.
The Prime Minister noted that these vaccines will ease the workload of health care workers while protecting the overall health of the citizens of Dominica.
“Today we are presented with additional support to secure the good health of our citizens and ease the burden of our heath care workers and continue our efforts at eliminating covid-19 in our country. No doubt we face a common threat the world over and it is important that we collaborate and assist each other in bringing an end to the greatest health crisis that we have had to deal with in this century,” PM Skerrit noted.
PM Skerrit added the receipt of these Pfizer Vaccines from the US Government “will bolster our efforts to protect the health of our citizens and enable them to resume a normal life and engage in the conduct of business, trade, travel and social life.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre expressed his thanks for the vaccines. He noted that the Pfizer Vaccine will assist Dominica in its goal of achieving population immunity.
“It comes at a very timely and opportune time as we are in the middle of our vaccine roll-out programme. This donation is going to give some impetus and augment our whole vaccination activities and with this I am certain that we can definitely get to the percentages that we want. Our goal was always to achieve herd immunity and this donation will help us with that,” Dr. McIntyre stated.
The Health Minister went on to say multilateralism is required if the world is to fight against the covid-19 pandemic, adding that countries must work together to eradicate the threat.
“It is important to note that such donations come at a time when we have to recognize that it is only safe when everyone is safe, and everyone is safe when everywhere is safe. No one is safe until is safe. And that is the level of multilateralism that we appreciate, when countries can come together to fight a common enemy. And vaccines together with public health and safety measures is one of the main defenses against covid-19,” Dr. McIntyre noted.
Deputy Chief of Mission and Representative of the White House and the US Government, H.E. David Schnier stated that this donation is evidence of the US Government’s commitment to Dominica and the Eastern Caribbean.
“Today’s donation of 11,700 Pfizer vaccines is just one trunch of several that will eventually arrive in Dominica totaling 46,800 vaccines. This is part of a 5.5 million dollar donation, by the United States people and Government, of Pfizer vaccines to the CARICOM Community. It is a symbol of our ongoing solidarity to the people of the Eastern Caribbean region as they recover from its devastating pandemic,” H.E Schnier stated.
The Pfizer Vaccine was recently approved by the FDA and is cleared for use for persons’ ages 12 years and over. Citizens are encouraged to avail themselves and their children for the vaccines as the Government through the Ministry of Health works towards population immunity. Vaccinations are available daily in all the seven health districts.