UWI COVID-19 Task Force Chair says:
“A new fight back phase against COVID-19 is here”
The UWI Regional Headquarters. Monday, February 15, 2021. —The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has arrived on Caribbean shores. “This marks the start of a new phase in the pandemic in which we start the 'fight back' against COVID-19” says Professor Clive Landis, Immunologist and Chairman of The University of the West Indies COVID-19 Task Force.
Earlier this month Barbados received a donation of 100,000 doses of vaccine from India and has subsequently shared the doses with Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia among some other Eastern Caribbean territories.
Professor Landis noted that the AstraZeneca vaccine has shown 76% efficacy after one shot and 82% efficacy after the booster shot in the latest phase 3 clinical trial involving more than 35,000 people in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. He also stated that the European Medicines Agency has given full regulatory approval for all persons over 18 and the World Health Organisation has likewise endorsed the AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults over 18 and against all strains of the virus.
Last week, WHO vaccine experts announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be used for people over the age of 65, and also in settings where variants of the virus are circulating. It has already been administered to over 10 million people in the UK without serious side effects, and has an excellent safety profile.
Addressing concerns about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, Professor Landis affirmed, “Even for those persons who may still contract the virus, vaccination prevents all severe disease and hospitalizations.
“This is an exciting time in the pandemic in which we have the opportunity to save lives and curb the spread. I really want to urge all persons who are eligible according to their risk category by age or profession to take the vaccine.” he added.
Task Force experts are available to provide commentary or media interviews. Members of the media are invited to make requests via email to email@example.com.
About The UWI COVID-19 Task Force
The UWI COVID-19 Task Force aims to leverage The UWI’s knowledge and experts to assist the Caribbean in its readiness and response to the virus outbreak, mindful that the region's best defense is a coordinated and collaborative approach. A trusted, reliable, single source of information, the Task Force website, www.uwi.edu/covid19 provides a helpful repository of shared resources from a range of partner agencies and regular updates, all relevant to the Caribbean’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic amid a wave of misinformation and speculation.
About The UWI
For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.
The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.
As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)