The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) has endorsed the national vaccination strategy as the foundation of our socio-economic recovery from the impacts of covid 19.

Government through the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment has propelled a vaccination drive, the major defense against the covid 19 virus. The vaccination drive commenced on February 22, 2021 and since then has been available at no charge to the public.

President of DAIC, Mr. Stephen Lander is in full support of Government initiatives in Dominica’s vaccination drive. He says vaccination is critical in this fight. 

“We are quite supportive of the efforts by the Government and health officials to increase the rate of vaccinations locally and help stop the rate of transmission and importantly reduce the likelihood of severe illness and hospitalization. One of the things that we are mindful of is that the capacity of our health system is limited and we are probably not going to manage well if we have a spike in demand of health resources and we are also concerned about what that means for persons who have pre-existing health conditions and routinely access these health services. What we really don’t want to see is a situation where the system is so crowded where we have to exclude the provision of services to any one individual. We simply cannot afford that as a nation” Mr. Lander stated.

Mr. Lander says persons should also consider the economic perspective during this crisis.

“The stops and starts we have had to endure over the last year or so have been very disruptive. Its disrupted businesses; some businesses have been forced to close, its forced business owners to make difficult decisions about reducing employees and controlling costs and in some cases we’ve had instances where people have had to go with reduced income. I don’t have to explain the impact on families and their livelihoods as a result of that. So there are a couple of things here to consider,” Mr. Lander noted.

The DAIC President says though vaccination is proven to be effective, the opinion and rights of others are well respected. 

“This is at the core a community issue and I think it is very important for us to understand that whatever individual decision that we make really impacts the entire community so as we consider the choices before us, we want everybody to be mindful of those implications,” the DAIC President noted.

Medical research states that vaccine strengthens our immune system by training it to recognize and fight against the virus thereby reducing the probability of severe illness and death. Extensive vaccination may also foster population immunity, making it more difficult for the virus to spread from person to person.

The DAIC has affirmed their commitment to the business community in raising literacy and addressing the issue of vaccination hesitancy.

“Hesitancy comes from different sources. What we try to do is share information, so where there are any concerns, we try to share the factual information around that so we can help allay those concerns, if not dispel them. So a lot of our efforts have been focused on trying to figure out from the business perspective what might be driving hesitancy and then what we can do to provide information around those concerns. We are currently doing a survey in conjunction with DDA and the DHTA that is meant to do exactly that. So we have gone out to business locally and asked for their employees to complete surveys so we can get a better understanding  a stop what concerns they have that may be preventing from getting vaccinated and the developing information for distribution that addresses the concerns,” Mr. Lander explained.   

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment last week introduced, an initiative called the business vaccination drive. Mr. Lander is satisfied with the efforts of providing effective access to vaccination by business establishments.

Mr. Lander says the new initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Health shows their prudent efforts in curbing the spread of the covid 19 virus. He says these efforts must be appreciated.

“The Government has been doing a very good job in terms of innovating along the way. This is a very dynamic situation and it takes a degree of agility and being able to pivot and turn and respond things as they develop. So as the public raise their concerns about for example the testing process and how that can be improved, it is important for the Government to be reactive and provide solutions to the concerns being raised,” Mr. Lander added.

As at Monday, September 13, twenty three thousand one hundred and sixty three (23,163) individuals have received their first dose of the covid vaccines, whilst twenty thousand five hundred and seventy one (20,571) individuals have received their second dose.

The Ministry of Health continues to encourage citizens to get vaccinated. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Know your status, get tested in order to regain a sense of normalcy.