PR – Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, led by example on Friday when he received the first COVID-19 vaccine administered in Grenada.
Dr. Mitchell received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as Grenada rolled out its COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
Six thousand doses of the vaccine are already on island and the Ministry of Health has confirmed the existence of a plan which includes an order of priority that begins with frontline workers.
Prior to receiving the vaccine, Dr. Mitchell cited the vaccination programme as a critical step in the fight against COVID-19 and expressed full confidence in the vaccine.
He said, “I know some people are concerned and understandably so, everything new, particularly when it deals with one’s health, we have to be cautious. There has been all sorts of rumours, some of it with no foundation. However, we will not be advising our people to take this path if we felt there was any major safety issues involved.”
Dr. Mitchell said the pandemic has created difficult circumstances for many workers, some of whom have been without jobs for almost one year.
The Prime Minister added, “If we achieve success in vaccinating our population, it will put us well on the way to solving the fundamental economic and other problems that we face. We will continue reinforcing that this is a first step in dealing with the problem. There is no way life will return to what it used to be, and there is no way people would invest serious resources and bring people back into the workforce, unless we feel certain that we are able to intermingle safely. This is a significant step in going forward and I thank the collective team of frontline workers and all who have been at the forefront of this fight.”
Health Minister, Hon. Nickolas Steele, who was also vaccinated on Friday, extended gratitude to the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Dominica for their coordinating roles in ensuring that Grenada received early shipments of the vaccine.
He said, “We are one Caribbean, we are all in this together. I look forward to all of our frontline team being vaccinated so that they can continue the work of protecting the rest of the population and to ensure that all who are eligible, get vaccinated.”
Minister Steele acknowledged the anxiety expressed by some people. He said, “I look forward to those individuals getting past their anxiety because 138-million people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and less than maybe 100 individuals have had any sort of reaction from this vaccine. If you compare the odds, it is essential that we equip ourselves and give our bodies the weapon to fight off COVID-19, so that we could go back to life as normal. That will be possible when at least 60 to 70% of our population is vaccinated.”
Other Government Ministers and several frontline workers also received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. The second dose will be administered in six weeks.