Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, says government may very well have to consider a parallel education system with virtual as well as face-to-face classrooms, if the vaccination numbers among eligible children does not increase to where they would like it to be.
He made the comment during a conversation with former UNC MP Bhoe Tewarie, during Tewarie’s “Brighter Morning with Bhoe” programme on MCTV, which was also carried on TTT.
Rowley said,”We’re not saying we are prepared to have separate populations of vaccinated and unvaccinated students and teachers, but it depends on the levels of each. If there is a high level of vaccinated people, then the science will tolerate having a low level of unvaccinated people, but if there is a high level of unvaccinated people and a low level of vaccinated people, that risk is too high.”
He said based on the reports he has received, vaccination was happening to a large extent among Forms 4-6. When schools reopen, he said Government will have to go to the schools to do further encouragement.
With some choosing vaccinations and others not – still a free choice – and preferring homeschooling, he said Government was working the situation out without too much force and disruption.
“Let’s see what turns out. But if Government has to act, the Government will act,’’ he said.
Rowley said there were many people who believed that the virus was not as serious as the government was saying, and this was fuelling vaccine hesitancy.
“There is a serious cacophony (sic) being played for political points. We have escaped the worst so far, and so people are thinking they can get by without respecting the virus. I hope it doesn’t take a worsening of the situation to get them to change their minds. There is a deadly virus, The response should be to strengthen yourself so when the virus comes you will be immunised and can protect yourself and also those around you.”