Barbados may take shot at vaccines

Barbados is examining the feasibility of manufacturing and producing vaccines and other biological agents here in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George, who announced this last Thursday, said a team was on the island “to look to see what are the fundamental regulatory requirements for Barbados to move in this direction”.

Speaking as a panellist in a discussion focusing on major changes small island developing states (SIDS) face in reorienting health systems, with a focus on primary health care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health, he noted that coming out of the pandemic, “vaccine inequity was terrible”.

“That added to our ability to not satisfy our population and the other issue was that the population was suspect, leading to vaccine hesitancy,” George told delegates at the SIDS Ministerial Conference On NCDs And Mental Health which was convened over three days at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. It was attended by health ministers from several SIDS, as well as the director general of the World Health Organisation. (GC)

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