Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on “stubborn” Antiguans and Barbudans to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, warning again that Government finances could collapse if the island fails to achieve herd immunity.
Speaking at the renaming of Mount St John’s Medical Centre on Tuesday night to Sir Lester Bird Mount St John’s Medical Centre, Prime Minister Browne urged citizens who are yet to be vaccinated to do so as quickly as possible.
“I want you to understand the consequences of us not achieving herd immunity. I want you to understand that if the vaccination process continues to move at slow pace and within the next several weeks we do not achieve herd immunity, that we will be exposing this country to perhaps a third and more deadly wave of COVID.”
He warned that this new wave would result in possible lockdowns, more deaths and more hospitalisation.
Browne urged vaccinated persons to convince at least one hesitant person to get the jab, saying that would help the country achieve 60 per cent immunity.
He said failure to vaccinate the nation would result in a possible collapse of the tourism sector, further devastating the local economy.
“The Government is struggling to meet its obligations and the more the situation protracts, not only you will have significant hospitalisations and deaths but there will come a time when the Government will not be able to meet certain obligations, including the payments of salaries and wages.
“For some reason our people seem not to be connecting the dots. On a daily basis I get a report of the revenue intake and I can tell you that the revenue intake to me, in essence, will be the worst for this year and getting worse.
Browne urged citizens to take warnings from their regional counterparts who have greater confidence in the vaccines.