Some 473 persons received their first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of Friday, the final day of the vaccination programme that has been taking place at the terminal of the VC Bird International Airport.
In orderly fashion, scores of employees of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA) and members of the airline community patiently awaited their opportunity over the four days of the exercise to receive the initial shot against the viral illness. The pandemic forced the shut-down of the country’s borders early last year.
Administrative, Operations and Security staff, rolled up sleeves for the vaccine during the course of the exercise which started shortly after 7am last Tuesday.
Besides workers employed by the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA), other members of the airport community were included in the list of persons to be vaccinated. So, airline staff, concessionaires, ground handlers, taxi drivers, red caps, tour companies, were all given the opportunity.
As the exercise continued daily, the VC Bird International Airport was able to carry out its professional and routine functions of receiving flights in much the same way it has been doing for months in support of the country’s tourism driven economy.
The medical team at Port Health supported by ABAA and volunteers from the Airport community collaborated for a smooth flowing operation.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Airline Association David Isaac said he was moved by the level of involvement by the airline community.
“We are happy that the entire airline community was canvassed in the process and pleased with the level of organisation. With the airport serving as Antigua’s only gateway, it was extremely crucial that airline employees as members of the frontline team of workers in the travel industry be inoculated,” Isaac noted.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority Euletta Francis reflected on the past year.
“ In March 2020, the pandemic forced the closure of our borders. Today, I am mindful that we are at this point having come through an extremely challenging year. I am indeed grateful that employees who have sacrificed so much and overcome their worst fears during a difficult time got this important layer of protection in the fight against Covid-19,” Francis noted.
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