Bulk-buy vaccines, economists urge CARICOM

Dr. Justin Ram

(Barbados Today) Two Caribbean economists believe that the region must join forces now to buy 20 million vaccine doses or the pandemic “will continue to devastate our lives and economies for another two years”.

Economic consultant Dr. Justin Ram and economist and social entrepreneur Kiran Mathur Mohammed, who in a joint article explained that with some 18.5 million people in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to achieve herd immunity would require the region buying enough vaccine for 90 per cent of the population, factoring in spillage, usage, and holding some for future use.

“That means ordering at least 150 per cent of what we need – at least 19.4 million vaccines,” they said.

Pointing out that the measures implemented by countries over the past several months to protect residents have resulted in job losses, school closures, and triggered domestic violence, abuse and mental health crises, the duo said it is time the region “escapes from this constant, crippling cycle of lockdowns and fear and get people back to work so we can start adjusting to our new post COVID-19 lives”.

“The vaccine is the only way,” they added.

Read more at: Barbados Today

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