by Linda Straker
- Over 8,000 people have been inoculated
- Some healthcare workers either delaying or refusing to be vaccinated
- Goal is 60% of 112,000 population vaccinated by June/July 2021
One month after commencing the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Health said that over 8,000 people have been inoculated. Grenada’s goal is to have 60% of the 112,000 population be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine by June/July 2021.
“To date, we have recorded 8,606 people who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Health Minister Nickolas Steele who was among the first policymakers to be inoculated with the vaccine. Steele is scheduled to receive his second dose by the end of the month.
At present, the vaccine is available at health centres and other sites set up at strategic locations that are deemed as easily accessible for citizens. “Some days are busier than others, but there is a constant flow of citizens at the vaccination sites,” Steele disclosed.
Steele has, however, expressed disappointment with the number of healthcare workers who are either delaying or refusing to be vaccinated, while at the same time administering the vaccine to those who are choosing to obtain the added protection.
“I think that is unacceptable. They are the ones that have the information, know the benefits of vaccination, have access to all of the proper information if they so choose, so they can make an informed decision as opposed to an emotional decision,” Steele said. “It is worrying that healthcare providers interacting with Covid-19 positive cases or elderly citizens would not want the added protection for them and those in their care…I cannot contemplate how someone, who is on the frontline would contemplate not being vaccinated.”
Scientific research and review have concluded that the vaccine does not stop transmission, but it reduces the possibility of developing severe Covid-19 infection, especially for those with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Grenada is scheduled to receive 45,600 vaccines through the COVAX facility as well as receive thousands of free vaccines from the Government of India. The Indian Government has donated 500,000 vaccines for sharing among Caricom members.
Grenada, as of 15 March 2021 recorded 154 Covid-19 cases since the first confirmation were announced on 22 March 2020. Only 2 according to the island’s dashboard are currently classified as active. The 2 active cases, both in self-isolation, are incoming passengers who were each on commercial flights from the United States and Jamaica respectively.