Stakeholders in the entertainment industry in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), are out to have at least 50 percent of the population vaccinated by the end of the year.
This will hopefully be made possible through the “It’s Our Best Shot” caravan initiative, which officially began last Sunday, October 24.
Government senator Rochard Ballah was speaking on the Issues at Hand programme last week, where he revealed that the initiative is being spearheaded by the country manager of St Vincent Brewery Ltd, Shafia London, and Calvin ‘Dj CJ’ Llewellyn.
“There’s a group that sprung up at the behest of a number of promoters, entertainers. This is a section of the economy that has been significantly impacted so there is a small group of persons who have collaborated with the ministry of health in this initiative,” Ballah, who is also a deejay, said on the WE FM programme.
The caravan made its first stop last weekend in South Rivers, where the senator said more than 100 vaccines were administered.
Other communities on the North Windward side of the island, including Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay and Overland were also visited by the ‘It’s Our Best Shot’ caravan last Sunday.
Ballah also said plans are already in the works to journey to North Leeward and the Grenadines to administer vaccines.
The senator, who is the Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information, noted that the entertainment industry is one sector of the economy that has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
“We have to show the Vincentian public that vaccination is not a conspiracy or something to control, or something to kill or anything like that because I’m out here and I’m hearing all of these things,” he said on Sunday, while at South Rivers. “Much of my work since I’ve been here…has been talking to the people and trying to get them to see the importance of vaccines, trying to erase some of these ridiculous misinformation tactics that have been employed to get people not to take the vaccine.”
The parliamentarian and deejay said that by taking the vaccine, people benefit because “we’re gonna be protected on a higher level, our protection is gonna increase, we’re going to be able to survive, maintain a high resilience for ourselves and our families…”
He added that the only way to counter ignorance is through research and listening to trusted persons who have knowledge on the matter.
“…We want to have a 50 per cent vaccination rate by the end of the year. Originally it was by independence…we wanted to give a gift to the Vincentians, by the Vincentians, from the Vincentians but at the rate its going right now — although the rate of vaccination has increased tremendously…at this rate, as we go around the country to the various communities, it is clear that if we could have a weekly target of 200, 300 people, within the next six to eight weeks, we could probably have close to, if not 50 per cent of the country vaccinated,” Ballah said.
As at October 27, a total of 42,497 vaccines had been administered in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
So far, more than 17,000 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 25,400 have received the first dose of a vaccine.