Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is leading by example.
He renewed calls for Dominicans to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines procured by the government for their protection, even as he got his first jab on Tuesday morning.
After being reminded of the possible side effects of the vaccine by the administering nurse, PM Skerrit said citizens should join the fight against COVID by getting vaccinated.
“Let us not wait for other countries to impose the requirement on us if we have to travel or if we have to do business. Even for those of us who have no business travelling, it’s for our own protection. Signs have shown that they help in the fight against COVID-19 and it minimises the opportunity for getting very ill and for death. We have to set aside the fears and conspiracy theories and be guided by the science,” he said.
The Prime Minister said in the developed world people from all strata of society are taking the vaccine.
He said being such a small island-nation, Dominica is lucky to have procured the vaccine so early in the game.
He was happy to report, that so far the citizens of Dominica seem ready and willing to get vaccinated.
“From all reports, it appears that folks across the country are availing themselves. We need to continue this, it’s going to be a journey, it’s not going to be for this month only, it’s going to have to continue and this government will continue to use all its efforts to access vaccines over a period of time. As you know, we are working with the Pan-American Health Organisation for the COVAX facility.”
Even so, Prime Minister Skerrit said the reality is countries like Dominica will have great difficulty in accessing doses of the vaccine because of the demand in countries where they are being produced and manufactured.
“We are low down in the pecking order so we have to count our blessings here in Dominica that we have these vaccines.”
The Prime Minister said mass vaccinations will allow governments to relax restrictions and reopen the economy.
“If we are reliant in large measure on tourism, in Dominica and of course in the Caribbean that’s one of the ways we are going to be able to reopen and get people to travel again and get people to feel comfortable in their minds that they could board a plane and come to Dominica, come to Barbados, Antigua, Saint Lucia or St Vincent so that we can see our economies going back to the point of tax revenues to continue our economic development in the region and here in Dominica.”
He believes that the vaccination programme will facilitate the successful reopening of our economies, especially where tourism is concerned.
The Prime Minister urged citizens to take all this into consideration as they weigh the pros and cons of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.