The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, led by the Honourable Minister, Sir Molwyn Joseph officially launched the Covid-19 National Coordinating Committee on Thursday 7th January 2021 with the assistance of the Chief Medical Officer and Chairman, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas.
This committee will be the critical body responsible for the successful planning, coordination and implementation of the activities related to the administration COVID-19 vaccination in the Antigua and Barbuda.
The members will review global level information from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) related to COVID-19 vaccines and incorporate it into the planning and preparations as needed.
Developing the COVID-19 Vaccination deployment plan as outlined by PAHO/WHO, overseeing COVID-19 Vaccination implementation activities, ensuring timely completion and submission to PAHO/WHO of the Vaccine Introduction Readiness Assessment Tool (VIRAT) and monitoring and reporting adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccines are some of the other duties of the committee.
The NCC comprises of high-level representatives from relevant ministries, partners, and non-governmental organizations.
In addition to the Chairperson, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, the committee includes Dr Jocylyn Walter-Thomas- Deputy Chairperson, Permanent Secretary, Ena Henry-Dalso, Margaret Smith, Almarie Coates, Wanda Samuel, Carissa Christopher, Alfred Athill, Dr. Oritta Zachariah, Dr. Anju Smith, Dr. Teri Ann Joseph, Dr. Leyland Powell, Dr. Albert Duncan and Daryl Spencer.
It is expected that a member of the NCC will also serve on the COVID-19 National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) to ensure adequate information flow between the two advisory bodies.
The NCC is appointed by the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda and will report to the Cabinet through the Minister of Health Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE), Sir Molwyn Joseph.