Barbados is in the process of a mass Covid-19 vaccination programme, following the donation of 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India.

And now with over 25,000 people – approximately 12.5 per cent of the adult population – receiving their first shots within just two weeks, Barbados leads the way as the most vaccinated country in the Caribbean.

“This is a commendable start for a country that really did not have a lot in place for a vaccination programme,” prime minister, Mia Amor Mottley, said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes vaccination as a critical tool in reducing the impact of Covid-19 worldwide.

Speaking to the nation, Mottley added that a comprehensive vaccination programme was the fourth step in Barbados’ Covid-19 management plan.

Other strategies include contact tracing; lab testing; public health protocols such as physical distancing and handwashing; and Operation Seek and Save.

The latter saw the ministry of health and wellness travelling to communities to do public health assessments to capture those who may be unknowingly infected by the virus and offer them early healthcare, especially the elderly.

The first wave of vaccinations was distributed to frontline workers, including those in the tourism sector, as well as the vulnerable population, including the elderly and persons with comorbidities.

Now, all citizens over 18 are coming forward to get their first dose of the vaccine.

To ensure widespread protection, the government has signalled its intent to obtain more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for persons on island, whether they are citizens or not, by the end of April or early May.