WORKERS EMPLOYED at various businesses throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are taking the COVID-19 vaccines available here while many of the nation’s nurses are refusing to do so.
“About two weeks ago, I got information, Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC), 90% of their employees, 166 workers at the time had taken the vaccine….
“Several other companies are doing that. Why the workers at flour mill can take the vaccine and nurses and doctors don’t want take the vaccine?” Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves queried on Sunday.
He was speaking about this issue during WE FM’s ‘Issue at Hand’ program, noting that the government continues to promote the necessity and desirability of vaccination as a vital tool against COVID-19.
SVG has so far obtained a quantity of the AstraZenca vaccine from India; the Russian SputnikV; and more recently, a consignment of the Pfizer vaccine, but there is strong resistance to taking jab.
The prime minister said that SVG has a sufficiency of vaccines to vaccinate the entire adult population (over 18 years old) and his information shows that only about 25% of the nurses have taken the vaccine, and about 75% of the doctors at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).
“And much has been given to these professionals, including the young ones and much is expected from them, and I hoping that they join the team to persuade Vincentians to take the vaccine,” Gonsalves stressed as he urged the unvaccinated to take the vaccine.
“This is where the world is going. You think you are going to be able to pay people…you think I would be able to pay police and nurses and doctors if we don’t return to some sort of normalcy…?
“You think the projects we are doing can reasonably continue without the country reach a particular level of vaccination? Gonsalves questioned.
He said that persons have to become serious about being vaccinated for COVID-19 and while approximately 26,000 persons have already taken one dose and half that number the two doses, it needs 70 to 80% of the population (over 18 years old) to be vaccinated to acquire herd immunity.
“…And I believe people would take it, but leaders have to lead,” Gonsalves said while pointing out that Canada is saying that persons must be vaccinated to come there, and the United States may soon come around to that.
He added also that “the government is at one with the stance of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the position of all 193 member countries of the United Nations (UN) when it comes to the vaccination issue.