The twin-island state is set to receive yet another donation of Covid-19 vaccines, this time from the UK Government as part of a pledge to assist countries across the world in the collective fight against the virus.
The British High Commission in St John’s disclosed the news in a media statement last evening, following an announcement from UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.
According to the High Commission, Raab said: “The UK is sending 12,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Antigua and Barbuda as part of the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged, to get the poorest parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency.
“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe.”
Along with Antigua and Barbuda, other countries, including Jamaica, Indonesia and Kenya, are also scheduled to receive vaccines, with the delivery of 9 million doses slated to kick off this week.
Five million doses are being offered to the COVAX facility, which will urgently distribute them to lower-income countries, via an equitable allocation system that prioritizes delivering vaccines to people who most need them.
Another four million doses, the statement said, will be shared directly with countries in need.
At last month’s G7 Summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged that the UK would share 100 million vaccines within the next year, and 30 million doses are expected to be sent by the end of this year.
The media statement also confirmed that the UK has signed agreements with countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines, to receive up to four million vaccine doses.
So far, Antigua and Barbuda has received vaccine donations from the Chinese, Russian and Indian governments, along with the government of neighbouring Dominica.