NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Health Renward Wells said yesterday that the suspension of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines in some European countries represents a near-zero occurrence statistically, while the Ministry of Health assured the AstraZeneca doses in The Bahamas differ from the reportedly affected batch.
“The ministry operates on the advice of medical professionals, so the vaccine committee are going to be making decisions, but statistically when you look at .007 or whatever it is, that’s almost zero,” Wells said outside the House of Assembly in response to the media.
“The vaccine committee is dealing with the issues of the vaccine and what I will say is that if there are cause for concern, the medical community and the Ministry of Health would address those issues.”
Several European Union (EU) countries suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca as a precaution after reports of some people having blood clots after vaccination.
Asked if he believed geopolitics was at play given the EU’s cautious rollout of the vaccine in its member countries and moderate criticisms of countries such as the United Kingdom on aspects of its vaccine program, Wells said: “There is always geopolitics at play.”
He suggested that while there is supposed to be a “global sense of solidarity” with vaccine deployment, larger developed countries have not stepped forward sufficiently, particularly in the Caribbean.