Doctor says failure to vaccinate could have major economic impact
A member of the medical fraternity is warning nationals that the failure to get vaccinated on a large scale could have dire economic consequences for the country.
Medical doctor, Dr Alfanso Jerry Simon issued the warning during an appearance on the Browne and Browne show on PointeFM radio on Saturday afternoon. He warned that despite Antigua and Barbuda’s many natural sceneries and historical sites, visitors will not return to the island in large numbers if they believe that travelling here is not safe.
“Don’t believe for one second that if we in Antigua and Barbuda mess around with taking the vaccine that the other countries are going to wait on us. If St Kitts, St Lucia, Dominica or any other country get their vaccine programme up and running right now, and they can open earlier than we can, despite our brand new fifth pier, our lovely beaches, hotels and attractions, they are going to be able to attract people to their shores. The governments of the developed countries – Europe, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom will advise their citizens to visit countries where the people are vaccinated,” he warned.
He added that it is imperative that the vaccination programme is supported and that everyone should get the vaccine whenever it comes available.
“We can’t stay shutdown forever! Some people may be able to work from home. However, the people who will pay for their services may not be able to afford them so everyone suffers. We have to get on board with the vaccination,” he remarked.
Dr Simon was also critical of those who have taken to the airwaves expressing doubts about the vaccine and the vaccination process, among other things. He said it was time “to put this nonsense behind us” and to move ahead with the vaccination. “The only protection against the virus is to get vaccinated. If we don’t get vaccinated we are going to be left behind. The drivers of the economy cannot open unless the country has been largely vaccinated. This year, we have lost Sailing Week and we are going to lose other events if we do not,” he declared.
Dr Simon said getting vaccinated is the first step for the country to return to normality.
Dr Simon said the vaccine is the only proven defence there is against the virus and only roughly one of a population of one hundred thousand who would have an allergic reaction to the vaccine and therefore not debilitating. “It’s the only definitive treatment against the virus!” he declared.