Covid-19 vaccination appeal raises $500,000
A Covid-19 vaccination programme got a major shot in the arm after a fundraising appeal raised about $500,000 – more than double the original target.
Lisa Sheppard, the executive director of the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation, which organised the campaign, said she was stunned by the response.
She added the vaccination scheme, based at the old Emergency Department at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Bermuda College, was in its 15th week and would continue until the end of May – twice as long as expected.
But she added that the foundation still needed support to help boost immunisation rates.
Ms Sheppard said: “We must continue receiving support, as it is greatly needed as we hope to achieve island-wide vaccination.
“This response speaks to how important the issue of vaccination is to this community.”
She added: “Our goal has been a sliding finish line based on the BHB needs to continue running the clinic.”
The foundation launched the fundraising appeal at the end of March and aimed to raise $222,000 for supplies and manpower for the clinics.
The funds were supposed to support the vaccination programme for ten weeks, but cash from private donors, as well as businesses, kept the clinics going strong for much longer.
Penny MacIntyre, the chairwoman of the BHCF, said cash started to flood in after the Green family, owners of the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, donated $100,000 earlier this month.
She also thanked SailGP, who made a donation of an undisclosed amount yesterday.
Ms MacIntyre said: “What turned out to be our foundation's long-shot ask of our community in these challenging economic times has become nothing short of inspiring.
“Our fundraising efforts got a real boost thanks to initial donors and the Greens' kicking off the Corporate Challenge.
“Our foundation is most grateful to the individuals, private families and businesses whose donations help the BHB's nurses and administration team know their much needed vaccination efforts are greatly appreciated and that the Bermuda Hospitals Board can continue its vital services without jeopardising its day-to-day functions."
The programme was set up to back the Government’s goal of vaccination of at least 70 per cent of the population to ensure herd immunity.