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News Report: "Chamber Chair Offers Vaccine Roll-Out Ppp"

Tribune News - Published March 11th, 2021

The Chamber of Commerce's chair yesterday said the business community is ready to assist the Government in rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations via public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson told Tribune Business: “I don't think anyone can properly predict when we will see a rebound of the economy. I think what is important to realise in all of this is that countries all over the world have been waiting with bated breath for batches of the vaccine.

"That's because it's seen as the most effective way to reduce the community spread, and to stabilise the economy.” Some 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were donated by India arrived in The Bahamas yesterday.

Ms Ferguson added: “I can’t speak to whether there will be enough manpower to roll out the vaccines, but what I would definitely say is that there should be consideration for public-private partnerships. They should definitely be developed to allow for private establishments to be used for vaccinations when the vaccines are made available to the general public.”

Mark Roberts, president of FYP Builders Mall, said that while he was unable to predict when the economy will rebound as a result of local and worldwide COVID-19 vaccinations, by October or November Bahamians should be anticipating a much better Christmas than they did in 2020.

“I have no idea on how they are going to roll the vaccine out," he added. "I think it’s going to be a little logistical challenge. It all depends on which one of the vaccines they get, if it has to be refrigerated and there are so many factors.”

Mr Roberts said that despite The Bahamas only receiving 20,000 vaccines so far, it is still a “boost of confidence". He added: “I would think that the hotel employees should be the first people that are vaccinated because that would give the world confidence that we could proudly say you can come to The Bahamas, because all of our concierge services and all of our staff and all of our people that are on the front lines with the tourism industry are vaccinated.”

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