Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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Barbados paying close attention to the spread of swine fever

August 24th, 2021

Barbados is tracking the swine fever, just as closely as it is the COVID-19 variants, as both have damaging economic effects.

This is according to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley who says the island will be taking proactive measures.

The Prime Minister was speaking against the backdrop of the final shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility, which was guaranteed through the Pan American Health Organisation.

She points out that just as COVID-19 threatens the economy so too could the swine fever.

African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting swine of all ages, which was recently discovered in the Dominican Republic.

The handover of the final COVAX shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines took place on the tarmac at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Dignitaries from the various countries that helped to make the procurement possible were on hand.

PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Yitades Gebre says access to vaccines should not be a privilege for a few.

He says many have not completed their vaccine schedules but Barbados is picking up with its national programme.

Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic says thanks to the COVAX facility the island now has its final batch.

He’s also pointed out the island has vaccine options.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley believes in the COVID battle, especially against the variants, the vaccine is a much needed weapon.

Ms. Mottley adds we are in a race against the variants and there has to be equitable access if we are all to win.

She is mindful some are hesitant and while Cabinet is not in support of mandatory vaccines, she has been taking the time out to discuss these issues with various groups around the island. Prime Minister Mottley started discussions yesterday and continued today with workers at various state owned entities.

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