Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne has cautioned of the chance of executing a required immunization program as he censured people who were urging others not to partake in the public inoculation program pointed toward checking the spread of the (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is not a threat,” Browne said on his weekend radio program, saying that the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the socio-economic development of the island since the first case was diagnosed last March. We are struggling on a monthly basis to meet salaries and wages. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the hardest-hit countries, one of the most vulnerable, and you are telling me that we have the luxury of not getting vaccinated?
“Well I want to say definitively to the people of Antigua and Barbuda that we do not have the luxury of not getting vaccinated and if we do not get the herd immunity perhaps in the next 60 to 90 days there is going to be weeping and gnashing of teeth in this country,” Browne said, adding “that is the reality of it.
“So people need to take responsibility and go out there and get vaccinated. You got to do it for yourself, for your children, your friends, the entire community, and also for future generations because as I said the economic and social scars they are getting deeper and deeper day by day. This type of hesitancy and reluctance to get vaccinated is just totally unacceptable. I mean we have been trying to avoid introducing any mandatory requirements for vaccinations, but I want to signal here, if we have to do it we will do so. It is going to be an inescapable fact that our people have no choice but to get vaccinated, they either do so voluntarily to protect lives and livelihoods or be forced to do so,” Browne told radio listeners.
He said that he was additionally disillusioned that people who are seeking to become pioneers in the nation were helping and abetting people not to take the antibody in a bid to make his organization look awful.
“In other words, they feel if they undermine the process and the people will suffer for say another six more months to a year that will perhaps give them a better chance of forming the government. But I ask the question if you were to form the government …where are you going to get the money to run the country? How are you going to resolve the deep wounds that would have been inflicted by COVID? It is in no one’s interest to undermine the vaccination process.”
He said the new choice by the United States to give a Level Four tourism warning for Antigua and Barbuda has effectively begun to be felt with understudies from a seaward clinical school scrutinizing the degree of ailment on the island.
“How our hotel workers are going to get back to work if we cannot re-open the country’s economy safely and where will we get money to survive? We do not have any stimulus to give them, we just don’t have the money,” Browne said.
He advised radio audience members that refusals to get immunized are postponing crowd invulnerability, demanding “we are putting a whole populace in danger.
“We have the weapon to deal with COVID and if these individuals refuse to avail themselves of the vaccines and allow a third wave to come and wipe out even more people than you have, hospitalizations, and we can’t even recover the economy…then we have to blame these irresponsible persons.”
He said that during the second influx of the pandemic upwards of 28 individuals had passed on subsequently, and some others, whose passings were not yet delegated having capitulated to the infection.
Antigua and Barbuda have set an objective of 70% of its populace to be inoculated to get crowd resistance.
“What they do not recognize is that the very job they may save is their own job, especially those in the hotel sector. Do you think that tourists are going to come here to go to hotels where people are not vaccinated? It is common sense,” he said, adding that locals would also be reluctant to go to bars and other places where staff members are not vaccinated.
Antigua and Barbuda recorded 1,232 instances of the infection with 32 passings since last March. There have been 1,014 recuperations.