Vaccine plan

With the recent announcement of a breakthrough in the global search for a COVID-19 vaccine by the United States pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Minister of Health and Wellness Jefferey Bostic says Barbados has started ensuring that its health system is equipped to handle and administer any eventual vaccine.

On Monday, Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech SE, said early analysis showed the COVID-19 vaccine is about 90 per cent effective.

Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trial began in late July and has enrolled more than 43 000 participants. Some received the vaccine, while others received a placebo. Vaccine trials rely on a certain number of infections to occur. If more infections are reported among participants who received the placebo than the vaccine, it’s a signal of efficacy.

In an interview with the MIDWEEK NATION, Bostic said Government has already started exploring solutions to possible logistical hurdles in anticipation that the vaccine will soon be ready for mass distribution, as some scientific experts are predicting. For example, the minister explained that initial reports said the vaccine must be stored at a temperature of -70C (-94F), which is much lower than what the average home freezer can reach.

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