Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit took his first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine on Tuesday, February 24 2021.
This as the Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments continues the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine as Dominica attempts to build immunity against the Covid-19 disease.
Prime Minister Skerrit encouraged citizens to put aside the fears caused by baseless conspiracy theories that are currently circulating. He stated that citizens should use the opportunity for vaccine as it is for their own protection and the protection of their families.
“We should all avail ourselves to this opportunity. Let us not wait for other countries to impose the requirement on us, if we have to travel or we have to do business overseas. But even for those of us, who have no business travelling, it is for our own protection. The science has shown that it will help in the fight against Covid-19 and it minimizes the opportunity for getting very ill and for death. We have to set aside our fears and all of these conspiracy theories and be guided by the science. In the developed world, people are taking the vaccines, people of all status of society and we in Dominica are fortunate to have the vaccines,” PM Skerrit stated.
He noted that the Government is also working with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in an effort to continue the vaccination programme.
“As you know we are working with the Pan American Health Organization through the COVAC facility and we expect to get a quantity of vaccines here. But the reality is in this world today, countries like ours will have great difficulty in accessing vaccines because of the demands in the countries where they are being produced and manufactured. And so we are lower down in the pecking order, so we really have to count our blessings here in Dominica that we have these vaccines,” the Prime Minister explained.
Prime Minister Skerrit further stated that if the country is to return to a semblance of normalcy, citizens should avail themselves of the vaccine to keep themselves safe, while also easing the fears of visitors.
“If we are reliant in large measure on tourism in Dominica and of course the Caribbean, that’s one of the ways we are going to be able to reopen, to get people to travel again, to get people to feel comfortable in their minds and the way they feel; that they can board a plane and come to Dominica so that we can see our economies going back to the point of tax revenues and to continue our economic development in the region and Dominica,” Prime Minister Skerrit went on to say.
He then commended the staff of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments, as well as the doctors and nurses for their commitment to helping citizens and the country by extension the combat the Covid-19 disease.
“The Ministry of Health is really working actively. I want to commend them, the staff, the doctors, for the diligence, the commitment because without them it’s impossible to have the vaccination programme. They are on the ball every day of the week. They are availing themselves to vaccinate us and we are fortunate. We have to thank God for these things,” the Prime Minister added.
Seventy thousand doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine arrived in Dominica on Tuesday, February 9th 2021 as a gift from the Government of India.
President of Dominica, His Excellency was the first Dominican to receive the vaccine on Friday, February 12th 2021 followed by the Minister for Health, Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre. The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment began the Covid-19 vaccination programme on Monday, 22nd February 2021 and since then hundreds of Dominicans have received the first dose of the vaccine including other Government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and staff.