Bridgetown – Barbados is among ten countries across the region which will get a major boost to their coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programmes as a result of a US$500 000 donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean.
A media statement said the donation to national vaccination programmes is being made by the bank through its charitable arm the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, and will support the purchase of vaccines in Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Additionally, the bank is providing a separate contribution of US$250 000 to cover the cost of vaccinating members of its 2,500 staff who wish to avail themselves of the vaccine in those countries, bringing its total contribution to the regional vaccination effort to US$750,000,” the statement said.
Chief executive officer of the bank and chair of the foundation Colette Delaney, in announcing the donation, said: “Vaccination remains one of the key weapons in the arsenal against COVID-19 and we are delighted to assist governments and public health officials in ensuring that everyone who wants the vaccine can have access to it.”
She said the global community and medical experts have made great strides in the past year in response to COVID-19 and they noted that an effective vaccine was “critical to protect individuals, families and communities and reopen our economies.”
The CEO noted that public health officials “advise that as many people as possible must be vaccinated to achieve a level of immunity that makes the spread of the virus from person to person unlikely”.
“As a result, the whole community becomes protected – not just those who are immune.”
Delaney praised the “brave men and women working on the frontlines all across the region to stem the spread of the disease and now who are ensuring the smooth roll out of mass vaccination campaigns”.
She also praised the staff of the bank, many of whom remain on the frontlines serving clients “even under very difficult circumstances”.
“This latest assistance to aid the COVID-19 fight in the region follows the bank’s donation last March of USD$250 000 spread across its 16-member regional footprint to assist health officials in purchasing testing supplies, personal protective equipment and other supplies,” the statement said.