Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves remains unhappy with the slow pace of vaccinations for COVID-19 in his country.
According to the latest vaccination numbers, the total number of vaccines administered stands at 33,088 with 19,990 people receiving their first dose and 13,098 receiving their second dose.
Over the past week, there was an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. SVG recorded 5 new deaths this week increasing the death toll to 17 and the number of active cases now stands at 602 after the island recorded a leap of 119 new cases on September 21.
Gonsalves, speaking on his Face-to-Face radio programme said: “We see the situation getting worse with the uptick. It is now over 600 active cases. These are more because of the spread of the delta and gamma variant which are easily transmissible.”
He expressed concern about the increase in the number of cases and deaths and reminded Vincentians about the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Grenada.
“When I said three weeks ago that it is not inconceivable that what is happening in Grenada could happen here some people scoff at it.”
While he continues to appeal to Vincentians to take the vaccine, Gonsalves noted that health professionals must also do their part as he revealed some of the island’s vaccination figures for doctors and nurses:
- Milton Cato Memorial Hospital- 90 per cent of doctors vaccinated
- Community nursing (clinics)- 55 per cent vaccinated
- Hospital services – 42.6 per cent vaccinated
- District Medical Officers- Out of 13 only three vaccinated
- Hospital maternity- Out of a total staff of 37 only eight vaccinated
- Nursing staff in paediatrics- Out of a staff of 29 only 11 vaccinated
- Outpatient- Out of a staff of 7 only two vaccinated
- Operating theatre/ICU- Out of a staff of 41 only 17 vaccinated
- Male medical – 7 vaccinated and 17 are not vaccinated
- Female medical- 12 vaccinated and 10 are not vaccinated
- Argyle Isolation Facility- 6 are vaccinated and one is not vaccinated
- Modern Medical Diagnostic Centre- Out of a staff of 56, 31 are vaccinated and 25 unvaccinated
- Georgetown Hospital- 4 vaccinated and 11 remain unvaccinated
- Lewis Punnett Home- 12 vaccinated out of a staff of 31
Focusing on the District Medical Officers, the prime minister says he does not understand how a doctor could be a District Medical Officer and not want to take the vaccine.
“How can they be relied upon to give a medical certificate to say someone who wants a medical exemption when they themselves are not taking the vaccine.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines has three vaccines available, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Sputnik-V.
The prime minister says while there was an uptick in vaccination numbers it should be increasing faster.
“Please take the vaccine. I am asking we get serious about this thing and do not continue to inflict damage on ourselves.”
Gonsalves said as a result of the data and given the COVID-19 protocols, the scheduled reopening of schools on October 4 will probably have mixed teaching between face to face and virtual learning.
He pointed out this is why vaccination is so important. The prime minister said he understands parents are anxious for school to resume but people need to get vaccinated.
It was noted that children over the age of 12 can take the Pfizer vaccine. Gonsalves said St Vincent and the Grenadines also need teachers to get vaccinated.
“If we reach a population immunity of 90 per cent, life becomes easier for everybody concerned.”