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U.S. Helps The Bahamas Distribute More COVID-19 Vaccines to Family Islands
September 23, 2021

People in U.S. army uniform unload boxes from the door of a plane

On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the United States and The Bahamas began a joint mission to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to several Family Islands: Abaco, Bimini, Long Island, Exuma and Eleuthera. The mission will span six days (September 23-28), and the first day of the effort alone will result in the distribution of 1,590 vaccine doses to Bahamians on the island of Abaco.

The effort highlights two partnerships:  1) the longstanding and multifaceted partnership between the United States and The Bahamas at the national level, and 2) the more specific Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and Rhode Island National Guard (RING) State Partnership Program, going strong since 2005.

The Rhode Island National Guard, supported by USNORTHCOM, provided the aircraft for the mission—a C-12 plane capable of carrying 1650lbs of passenger and cargo – as well as two pilots and three vaccination subject matter experts.  Four to six Royal Bahamas Defence Force medical personnel will work alongside their RING colleagues to execute the joint mission.  In addition to distributing life-saving vaccines, the mission will provide an opportunity to exchange best practices on the logistics of vaccine distribution and wider interagency coordination.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts and Prime Minister the Honourable Philip Davis met at Odyssey International Airport for the launch of the mission, along with newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service, the Hon. Fred Mitchell, U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official Captain Greg Gellman, Major Philip Aubin of the Rhode Island National Guard, and other key members of the joint effort.

Chargé Pitts commented, “I can’t think of a better first official meeting with newly elected Prime Minister Davis than to be here at the airport with the RBDF and Rhode Island National Guard, as we work together to put an end to this pandemic.”

Bahamians are encouraged to visit The Government of The Bahamas’ COVID Vaccination Appointment Platform at https://vax.gov.bs to register for an appointment.  Also, sign up to win prizes from the Embassy-sponsored vax raffle at https://vaxbahamas.com.