With the rollout of the second AstraZeneca vaccines on stream, many Grand Bahamians are still in limbo over taking the first jab.
To date a little over 5,000 people have taken the first dose of vaccine in Grand Bahama. Nation-wide close to some 40,000 have been inoculated, this daily learned.
Over the weekend the National COVID-19 Consultative Committee, headed by Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, announced that registration for the second shot began on Sunday, May 9.
In a press statement, officials advised that the date for the second dose appointment should be no fewer than seven weeks after the date of the first.
“For example, if you received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 23, 2021, your appointment date for the second dose should not be before May 11.
“To make an appointment online, visit vax.gov.bs.
“If your first appointment was made at a walk-up center, please return to the same center to receive your second dose, at the appropriate minimum seven-week interval. Online appointments can be made for any vaccination center.
“Please note that appointments for first doses will continue to be administered at all vaccination centers on New Providence and Grand Bahama.”
In Grand Bahama Susan J. Wallace Community Center is the designated location.
“I need to travel for business, so I got vaccinated,” a local business owner told The Freeport News.
Wishing to remain anonymous, the proprietor noted that while being skeptical in the initial instance, she decided to take the first shot and is now looking to be fully vaccinated.
“I think it prevents not only the hassle, but the expense of taking the COVID-19 test (Rt-PCR). Every time you move off island, whether inter-island or overseas, there is at least a $140 charge for the test and the other expenses.
“So, I believe being vaccinated saves you the aggravation, especially for people in business. If you are not required to travel frequently, then by all means take your time in making the decision,” she advised.
The business woman revealed that following her first shot, she experienced a slight headache and was a “bit tired." However, after taking an aspirin and getting some rest, the following day she was fine.
Sharing a different opinion was a young man who only gave his name as David.
“I am not taking this vaccine, period!” he stated.
According to David: “The scientists are testing this stuff on us humans right now. If it is mandatory that we take it, then I’ll wait until that time. I think it will be more reliable then.”
Many young residents share that mindset. However, government officials, including Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, are urging all Bahamians to get the jab.
“The approved vaccines are effective in helping prevent severe illness and death. Do not put your life at risk because you believe fake news on social media,” Dr. Minnis said back in February.
He encouraged people to get information about vaccines from reliable local and international scientific and media sources.
Dr. Minnis strongly urged all eligible Bahamians to take the vaccine once it becomes available to them.