SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The United States said on Wednesday that it will provide Nearly 837500 Pfizer Vaccinations to Caribbean countries, as the area grapples with a surge in COVID-19 infections and violent anti-vaccine rallies.
The Bahamas will get 397,000 pills, with more than 305,000 doses going to Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados will receive 70,200 pills, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines will receive 35,100, Antigua will receive 17,550, and St. Kitts and Nevis will receive 11,700.
“Managing and resolving the COVID epidemic and helping to fair recovery are the greatest priorities for the Biden-Harris administration in the Americas today,” said Juan González, the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere.
Thousands of specialist needles needed for the Pfizer vaccination were also given, with officials stating that the gifts were “significantly legal and logistically complex.”
According to a White House official, USAID, which has contributed more than $28 million to help 14 Caribbean countries battle COVID-19, will announce further money soon.
According to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency, there have been more than 1.29 million illnesses and more than 16,000 fatalities in the Caribbean area, with more than 10.7 million individuals vaccinated thus far.
Haiti, one of the Caribbean countries most hit by the pandemic, got its first vaccination shipment on July 14 — 500,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine given by the United States under the United Nations’ COVAX program for low-income countries.
A total of 20,400 confirmed cases and 575 fatalities have been recorded in the country of more than 11 million people, however, experts believe the figures are significantly underreported due to a general lack of testing.
The US “will deliver a significant quantity of more doses to Haiti soon,” a National Security Council spokesperson told The Associated Press, but no other information was immediately available.
On Wednesday, Haitian Health Minister Lauré Adrien announced that 16,000 individuals had been vaccinated and that vaccinations had been delivered to all ten departments of the country.
The declaration comes after recent anti-vaccine demonstrations in Guyana, Antigua, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the prime minister was struck in the head with a rock last week and was briefly hospitalized.
According to a government statement, two firemen in Guadeloupe were wounded during recent protests against a COVID-19 curfew. A similar demonstration was recorded in adjacent Martinique, a French island with a population of over 370,000 people that is reporting 1,176 cases per 100,000 people, a surge that officials attribute to the delta strain and poor vaccination rates.
On Monday, the prefecture announced, “Tourists are invited to conclude their stay in Martinique.”
On the same day, officials in Martinique imposed further rules, including the closure of beaches and non-essential enterprises, as well as a restriction on individuals going more than half a mile (1 kilometer) from their homes. Meanwhile, officials in the US Virgin Islands have announced plans to close beaches on weekends by late afternoon.
The Bahamas, Curacao, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Trinidad and Tobago are among the islands having the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
To combat the viral outbreak, France recently stated that military medics and ICU units would be sent to the French Caribbean, and that military jets would be transporting some severely ill patients to the French mainland for treatment.