Covid-19: First Pfizer vaccines arrive in Bermuda
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines has now arrived on the island.
Health Minister Kim Wilson confirmed the news after a British Airways flight carrying more than 9,000 doses of the drug touched down at L.F. Wade airport shortly after 6pm yesterday.
Ms Wilson said: “The first shipment for 9,750 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine arrived, as scheduled, on the British Airways flight.
“The Department of Customs paperwork has been completed and the vaccine is being immediately taken to a secure storage facility.”
The consignment left the airport and was taken to an undisclosed location. The first doses of the vaccine will be administered on Monday.
Ms Wilson added: “I must thank Government House, on behalf of the Government of Bermuda, for their efforts that enabled Bermuda to receive this shipment. I am grateful for the Governor’s support and for the assistance of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Bermuda is one of four UK overseas territories to receive a batch of the vaccine. The Turks and Caicos Islands received a similar quantity of the vaccine early this week and the Cayman Islands received a consignment yesterday. Gibraltar is also in line to be given a supply by the UK.
Governor Rena Lalgie, who was at L.F. Wade airport to witness the flight’s arrival, said: “I am pleased that the UK has provided these 9,750 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and equipment free of charge in order to support Bermuda’s public health and economic objectives.
“I am delighted that Bermuda is one of four UK Overseas Territories to receive a share of the first batch of vaccines. The UK remains committed to sharing a proportionate amount of the vaccine in its possession with the overseas territories and I am confident that more will be provided soon.
“This is a real demonstration of the modern relationship – made possible by the collaboration between Government House and the Government of Bermuda in service to the people of Bermuda.”
Ms Wilson added: “The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in the UK by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, in the US by the US Food and Drug Administration, in Canada by Health Canada, in Europe by the European Medicines Agency, in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority and by the World Health Organisation.”
The vaccine is now being stored at a secret location in a specially designed freezer loaned to Government from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
The container, normally used to to keep scientific samples collected by BIOS, can store items at -80 degrees.
The Ministry of Health will begin administering the vaccine doses from a vaccination centre next Monday. Healthcare workers and other essential personnel deemed to be at a higher risk of exposure to the virus, will be first in line to be given the drug. The location of the vaccination centre has yet to be revealed by Government.
A second clinic will operate at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital catering exclusively to health workers.
A mobile team will be visiting rest homes and long-term care facilities to administer the first of the two-dose vaccine to seniors who have given their consent.
The Ministry of Health will give a presentation on vaccine awareness today. The programme will air on Government’s Facebook page and CITV at 6pm.