Government has decided that the remaining AstraZeneca vaccines, which were meant to be used as second doses will now be used as a first dose.
During yesterdays’s media briefing, the Prime Minister said, “We are holding in our hands now about 38,000 doses of vaccines that we were holding in the event that no more was coming to us in the very near future and that would have been used to be the second dose on those persons who were vaccinated. We have taken a decision to date that we will use those vaccines as first dose applications for person who are to be to be vaccinated.”
Dr Rowley said it was better to have at least one dose of the vaccine than none.
“With one dose, science is showing that you get about 65% protection,” he said.
Should the other vaccine shipments do not arrive on scheduled time, almost 80,000 people would have at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Dr Rowley said.
The second tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines being supplied through the COVAX facility is expected to arrive in this country next month.
Rowley said “ We have confirmation that we are to expect another similar batch coming to us during the month of May. The Ministry of Health advised that they got documentation of that shipment.”
But he said an Italian embargo on the export of vaccines might affect the shipment, prompting the government to reverse a recently announced decision.