The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) expressed its gratitude for India’s generous contribution of more than a hundred thousand COVID-19 vaccines to the region, in a tweet last week Thursday.
Among the major recipients of the vaccines are Barbados and Dominica, which will get 100,000 doses and 70,000 doses, respectively.
CARICOM’s Secretary-General is Ambassador Irwin LaRocque called it “a tangible expression of goodwill in this challenging time.”
Barbados and Dominica are both reported to be willing to share their vaccines with other Caribbean neighbors.
Members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), as well as Guyana and Trinidad will benefit from India’s donation, said Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
The leaders of Barbados and Dominica had earlier expressed their heartfelt thanks to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India, after getting swift approvals on their requests for supplies of vaccines.
Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who sought the vaccines on January 19, said he wasn’t hoping that Dominica would get the vaccines so soon.
“I must confess that I did not imagine that the prayers of my country would be answered so swiftly,” PM Skerrit said at a formal ceremony at the airport last week Tuesday, held soon after the plane with the vaccines arrived.
“One would have thought and understood that in a global pandemic such as this, a nation’s size and might would have been the primary considerations,” he added.
Barbados PM Mottley also thanked India’s prime minister for “his quick, decisive, and magnanimous action” for considering Barbados’ humble request for an ample supply of vaccines.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mottley said: “I trust that you are well and safe. On behalf of my Government and people, I wish to express gratitude to you, your Government and the people of the Republic of India for its most generous donation of the Covishield vaccines (under the auspices of Oxford Astrazeneca).”
She also alluded to negotiations that are underway with India to buy a second batch of the vaccine for Barbados.
Mottley told the Barbados media, “These are part of the first batch of a potential 200,000 doses for Barbados.
We are asking and hoping that we can purchase the remaining 100,000 from the government of India,” Mottley said.