By LEANDRA ROLLE
PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said plans are underway to set up vaccination sites on school campuses in a bid to get more children vaccinated against COVID-19.
Mr Davis made the comments to reporters after visiting several public schools being renovated in the capital yesterday.
He was asked if his administration plans to lift the mask mandate for children in schools for the new semester.
Currently, children aged five and above are eligible to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
Last month, France donated 24,000 pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the Bahamas through the COVAX facility.
Mr Davis said: “When it comes to children, there are vaccines for children and we have vaccinated children and as soon as we see the demographics of the number of children vaccinated, we too can consider lifting the masks and I again urge parents to seek to have children vaccinated so that we can move on to lifting the masks.
“As you rightly pointed out, these are stifling times with the heat, and we want to see how we can help ensure that our children are comfortable in this environment. So, I ask you and I urge you, tell your friends and tell your neighbors and tell everyone you come in contact with – get vaccinated to help each of us live more comfortably.
Regarding the general mandate of the mask, Mr Davis said he plans to eliminate the public health measure once a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated.
He said he would also consult with health officials.
“The reason I have been urging people to get vaccinated who haven’t been vaccinated is because we don’t want an avalanche of sick people that will blow up our hospital again,” added Ms. Davis.
“And with that in mind, the lifting of the mask will happen once I am satisfied with the experts and the advice of the medical team that has been assembled and worked throughout the pandemic when they tell me that the level of the percentage of vaccinated Bahamians is such that we can lift the masks and that is what I have urged people to see to get vaccinated and then we will consider lifting the masks.
According to the government’s latest vaccine tracker, more than 170,000 people have been fully vaccinated in the Bahamas to date, while more than 159,000 people have received their first dose.
Earlier this month, the Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr Michael Darville, told reporters that the government hoped to achieve a 70% vaccination rate among the public by the end of the year.
“One of the things we are committed to is the mandate from the World Health Organization for 70% of the population to be vaccinated by the end of the year,” he said at the time. .
” It is over there. Many other Caribbean countries are trying to achieve this particular goal. The reason this is important is that we believe that if we reach this level, it will prevent a large influx of individuals into our hospital systems in case we start to see higher cases of COVID in the country.
There had been 36,853 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country as of August 8. Of this number, 296 cases are still active.