As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc worldwide, this country is among others seeking curb the spread through establish what is called ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination against the deadly virus.
‘Herd immunity’ means enough of the population has either been vaccinated or gained immunity through natural infection to stifle the spread of the virus.
International health organizations had initially suggested that 60-70 percent of populations must be immune in order to achieve ‘herd community’ but with the discovery of variants of the virus, that percentage has been revised to 70-90.
This country recently started its vaccination programme and health authorities have been imploring the population to get registered so they can be vaccinated.
At a press conference hosted yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Dr Franklyn James responding to a question acknowledged that certain groups, such as persons over age 65, persons with pre-existing conditions and frontline workers were priority groups but that many were yet to come forward to be vaccinated.
“And if persons who are prioritized are not coming forward in their numbers then we have to give it to who want it. Because, the objective is to vaccinate as much of our population as possible because we are seeking to get to –some people say 70 percent, I think in order to have herd immunity, I think that it may be a bit higher than that but I think that has to be our objective; that we have so many people immune that the few who do not have the disease it becomes almost impossible or very difficult for them to contract the disease,” Dr James said.
Dr James’ response indicates at least one of the challenges this country might face as it rolls out the vaccines being obtained.
The government has stated that this country is to receive 20,000 vaccines through the COVAX Facility and another 50,000 were to be purchased.
The Mustique Charitable Trust is said to be purchasing 100,000 vaccines and the ALBA Bank is making financing available for a number of countries in the region, including this country, through a revolving fund.