Barbados PM lobbies for COVID vaccine plant
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Prime Minister Mia Mottley is lobbying for a COVID-19 vaccine plant to be established in Barbados.
Mottley, speaking to reporters following the opening of the 15th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Monday, reiterated her call for global equity in the distribution of vaccines.
Mottley said that if the COVID-19 pandemic is to be conquered, vaccines need to be readily available across the world.
“The pandemic will finish when we decide as a people globally that it must finish and until such time we will continue to have persons affected by it and we are in the race against early mutations and variants that may well be worse than what we see in Delta, which is bad enough.
“We can only ask that all of our actions move to a point of vaccine equity and we can only ask that there also be an urgency about identifying locations such as ours and others in other parts of the world to become locations for the manufacturing and or bottling of vaccines so as to ensure a more ready capacity to those most in need,” she told said.
Mottley said she does not accept that it is impossible for a plant to be established in Barbados.
“I do not accept that it is impossible for vaccine and manufacturing and bottling plants to be available throughout every region in this world to ensure the shortest distance to people's arms. If we can achieve that and if we can work to that in UNCTAD then I believe that can only lay the foundation for the conquering of this pandemic.”
She said a manufacturing or bottling plant would do well not only for the COVID-19 pandemic but for any pandemic or future needs for pharmaceuticals.
Mottley told reporters that the Delta variant of the virus is wreaking havoc on the economies and health systems of the Caribbean and that it was important for there to be quick and reliable access to vaccines.
“Every country in the Caribbean is in the grips now of some kind of surge. Delta has been the ultimate aspect of COVID. If we believed that COVID has laid bare all our frailties and facilities then Delta has been the tip of the spear that has gone deep, deep, deep and I say so because Delta is ultimately at its most dangerous when we are supposed to be at our most comfortable, in our homes and with our families,” Mottley told reporters.
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