Antigua and Barbuda calls for urgent and equitable release of vaccines


Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, has called for “urgent and equitable release of COVID-19 vaccines, especially for small states.


Ambassador Sanders was speaking at a meeting of the Permanent Council after presentation by representatives of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) that he descried as ‘chilling”.

Sanders told the representatives of 33 countries that tourism dependent Caribbean countries, such as Antigua and Barbuda, have been among the hardest hit.  “In the tourism dependent countries such as mine, the economic situation is dire”, he said.


Ambassador Sanders told the OSAS that Caribbean countries “have neither the financial resources nor the capacity to continue this desperate fight without relief”.


Adding that, “Unlike developed countries our central banks cannot print money to provide relief and stimulus”, he declared “We need vaccines to inoculate our people and provide some level of immunity. Yet, all that we have been able to secure is small numbers that will not immunise more than 10 per cent of our populations”.


Sanders quoted UN Secretary-General António Guterres in saying that “what is needed now is the largest and most rapid deployment of vaccines the world has ever seen, reaching everybody, everywhere”.


Pointing out that vaccines are quickly reaching high-income countries, while the world’s poorest have none at all, Sanders called on the OAS Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, to take “a front and centre position in advocating this matter”, and he urged the member states of the OAS to support him “by all means necessary”.  “Hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake”, he concluded.

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  1. Ha ha surely not me. Countries like the U.S. will and is taking care of their population first and their strong allies like Canada and Great Britain ect . P.S Ventillators

  2. The vaccines will be very difficult to obtain. The BIG countries are grabbing up all. They have the $$$$$$…. the small nations are dependent on them. COVAX has to depend on the WHO supplying it with vaccines to distribute to its members. As it is now….even the European Union is crying out for more vaccines.
    Many third world countries are now getting their vaccines from Russia, China and India because they realize that it will be a “forever waiting game” for the Pfizer, Moderna and J & J vaccines.
    As new variants continue to show up all over the world, it will be even more difficult for Caribbean nations to access the vaccines.
    I am calling on the people to behave responsibly and wisely. You know the risks out there. It lurks in the unknown and overtakes its prey. Do not become a target. Follow the protocols.
    Covid rages on and will continue to make its rounds.


  3. I’m lost to why it’s a surprise that ANU and similar countries don’t have the vaccine yet?
    It’s like giving your lunch money away. The cold reality is countries will look after themselves first before helping others who can’t finance such vaccines themselves. What’s shocking about that?

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