COVID-19 update and press conference – February 9, 2021. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is urging doctors and nurses to reach out and provide the necessary advice on the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to assist Barbadians in making the sensible choices that will protect themselves and their families.

She made this appeal, which included asking families to start having the conversations about taking the vaccine, while addressing a press conference at Ilaro Court tonight to announce the arrival of 100,000 does of the vaccine. 

Ms. Mottley was also joined by Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, via Zoom, as that country also received boxes of the vaccine.   

The Prime Minister added: “…The conversations that are necessary must take place. For the most part, everyone that I’ve spoken to has said that while they may have some concerns or persons may want to speak to their doctor, the majority of people are saying they are ready to take the vaccination. I ask, also, that we recall that there are few of us who would have taken it earlier, and we will take our second shots in this going down: Minister Bostic…; the five doctors who would have previously taken the shots who are on the front line working at the various isolation centers, and, of course, the Attorney General.”

She continued: “In addition to those of us who have taken it, then the rollout as I said will be explained by Major (David) Clarke and Dr. (Elizabeth) Ferdinand tomorrow when they speak. Our doctors are going to be placed under a lot of pressure over the course of the next few days because I have every expectation that average Barbadians are going to be reaching out to their own medical practitioners for advice.”

Miss Mottley pointed out that Barbados has one of the highest rates of chronic non-communicable diseases in the world and by vaccinating as many persons safely in accordance with the recommendations from their doctors, the risk of serious hospitalisation or death will be minimised.

“We can only beat this virus if we have enough people willing to be vaccinated, in order to create the herd immunity in the population. I cannot tell you that I’ve received all the vaccinations that we need yet, but I can promise you, that every day and every night, we are going to work hard to get as many vaccines necessary to protect our people. But that’s just one part of the equation. The second part is you. And I ask each of you tonight to start the conversations in your families, with your friends and with your work colleagues, and to begin to recognise that a lot of the fake news and a lot of the conspiracy theories are designed to be able to undermine this effort,” the Prime Minister underlined.

She noted that 85 per cent of the population can “bear arms” to show the signs of vaccination against polio, smallpox box, measles, the mumps and rubella, thereby permitting the survival of family and friends.

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