by Linda Straker
- Private sector will lead on vaccine hesitancy
- St George’s University and Grenada Cooperative Bank mandated that all staff be vaccinated
- An outbreak of Covid-19 poses run on our health system
Christopher De Allie, the Business Community-appointed Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, said that the private sector will lead in countering the issue of vaccine hesitancy among the population, and they are prepared for various fallout from such undertakings.
“We are going to get blows for it obviously; a lot of us are going to give deadlines. We going to give deadlines for staff members to get vaccinated; what happens when they don’t… is going to be a debate going forward and I know some of the challenges, but some of us are prepared to take up the challenge.” De Allie is the co-host of “Perspective” the weekly Monday morning current affairs television programme.
He said the only exception to becoming vaccinated will be individuals who have existing medical issues that will restrict them from becoming inoculated with the vaccine for Covid-19. Grenada began its vaccination programme in February, and to date, less than 20% of the eligible individuals have been vaccinated.
Two major private sector companies — St George’s University, and Grenada Cooperative Bank — have already mandated that all staff be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine.
During last week’s sitting of the Upper House, one of the main bills approved was the “Covid-19 Cancellation of Carnival August Celebrations Bill, 2021. De Allie gave his full support to the legislation which removes bank holidays for 9 and 10 August 2021. This means that just like in 2020, Grenada will have no carnival celebrations in 2021.
Though he gave his support to the legislation, De Allie expressed his concern about the current slow pace at which the vaccine is accepted in this country. Explaining that the percentage of individuals already vaccinated is far from herd immunity, he said that eligible citizens are refusing to be responsible. “The issue here is that we as a people have not taken up the responsibility of getting ourselves to the point where we can say safely that we can resume to some level of normalcy… we all have to take some level of responsibility for that,” he said.
“We cannot be given the possibility of vaccination for a solution and will stand here and debate the scientific pros and cons. It is a personal decision that people have to make, and I think if they don’t make it personally there will be consequences for and against,” he told the House, pointing out that one of the consequences could be a run on our health system if there is an outbreak of Covid-19.