Browne urges Antiguans to get vaccinated

11
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne

ST JOHN’S – Prime Minister Gaston Browne stopped just short of announcing that his government would be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for Antigua & Barbuda.

But he warned that time had come to take tougher and more unpopular measures to deal with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has so far killed 47 people and infected 2 047 others since March last year.

“This is a very serious issue,” he said. “I have signalled to the people of Antigua & Barbuda months ago that if we have to make vaccinations mandatory in this country, we will do it. We are not afraid to do it.

“We recognise, however, that as leaders we must be tolerant, and I am satisfied that we have exercised sufficient tolerance in this country and the time has come for us to act.”

Browne warned opposition legislators that “we cannot put our political value…or interest above that of the national interest”.

“There comes a time when we have to stand alone and make decisions in the national interest and the time has come,” he said.

Browne reminded Parliament that Cabinet had earlier this week approved of a measure that all public servants “must get vaccinated or get tested at least twice monthly” or they would not be eligible to enter the workplace.

“And if you don’t come to work, you cannot justify getting paid,” he said. “And if you don’t come to work after a period of time, you abandon your job, and you lose your employment.”

 

Browne said the government, as the largest employer in the country, had an obligation “to provide a safe working environment for workers”, especially the public sector.

“I hope others in the private sector would follow,” he said. “We cannot continue to play with this debilitating and deadly disease. Time has come for us to call a spade a spade and those who want to go and protest, fine, go, and protest, but respect the laws.

“The laws are very clear. No more than 10 people supposed to congregate, and if you break the laws, there are consequences. I know there will be a lot of hate speeches after this, but I will take the hatred.”

He added: “All I know is that I was elected to serve in this Honourable House, the members on this side have shown enough confidence in me to serve as prime minister, I have taken an oath in this Honourable House to lead without fear or favour.

“I have an obligation to stand in this Honourable House to tell the people of Antigua & Barbuda about the risks they are faced with if we don’t act on this now. How many more people must die? Another 100, another 200 before we act. And the irony about it, colleagues, if we don’t act, they will still blame us, so let us act, and do what we are required to do and protect the citizenry, to protect lives and livelihoods and I am saying here to my people you need to cooperate.”

The statement to Parliament from the Antigua & Barbuda prime minister comes in the wake of a report to leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) that there is “ample provision” in their constitutions to support mandatory vaccination laws as the sub-region continues the battle to curb the spread of COVID-19.

(CMC)

CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP

11 COMMENTS

  1. A safe working environment should not be discriminatory on testing, both vaccinated and non vaccinated should be tested but it’s obvious is more about vaccine than the virus. I seems like it’s a moral thing for a vaccinated individual to spread the virus but it is immoral for an unvaccinated to spread the virus, a virus that spread from either is still contagious, their reasoning don’t make sense. If safety is the main concern test both parties. Why leave out one? Stop the division! the virus and the poor decision you all make is the problem, not vaccinated and non vaccinated

  2. The Hon Gaston Brown has spoken as a true leader and I and I’m sure many others agree with the above statement 100%. The people are taking this thing as a joke allowing social media to currupt their better judgement. Doctors who we all once trusted are urging people to take the vaccines it’s our only weapon and they are being ignored and critiqued..The opposition party is promising impossible and damaging solutions as a bribe to gain power and I will say as much as I don’t always believe in the ABLP I see a hard fight against this disease for the greater good especially for the preserverance of this country and it’s economy…

  3. How many more people have to die? Unless the PM takes this seriously and locks down the country that number will be very high. It worked before on Antigua and it will work again. Business profits cannot come before human health

    • Lockdown and then what open back up the the same bs. Lockdown don’t frigging work it only cause more frigging hardship but your bread well butter so you don’t give a rats ass but who feels it frigging knows it.

  4. Hon.Gaston Browne you were elected to lead the Nation. Continue to do so. It is time for MANDATORY VACCINATION. At least We know where You stand. UPP is talking from all corners of Their mouths. UPP is looking for votes . UPP very INDECISIVE. Hon.Gaston Browne continue on this path. We look towards your LEADERSHIP.

  5. Obviously, the huge majority of the people are with the Prime Minister on this issue. His approach is that of a true leader. I have never voted for the ALP in my life, but the PM is correct on this one, and the nation is with him. There will always be idiots who oppose everything. The interests of the nation as a whole are being addressed. This has nothing to do with politics. It’s a matter of life and death.

  6. Gaston says he will be comfortable NOT being in government (yada, yada, yada).

    Gaston, no-one is forcing you to be in government.

    Just resign and the new administration will investigate you and your administration and the chips will fall where they may.

    Of course, you are just chatting garbage about you not having to be in government.

    Electors, always remember you are in charge and when the time is right, be sure to show the politicians that they can be fired.

    • Gaston may be happy to be out of government if this pandemic continues in Antigua and all over the world. It is only during hard times that the foolish Antiguan people know they need a change in government. It is much easier to criticize from the opposition bench than to fix the financial decisions that contributed to the problems.

  7. Mandatory what? Good luck with that. Do you even know what’s inside the vaccine? Yet are urging people to take it….some of us actually CARE about what enters our body. You took it at our own will, let others make that choice for themselves. THE VACCINE DOES NOT STOP THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND STAND UP ANTIGUANS. ALL OF A SUDDEN HE CARES ABOUT THE NATION’S WELLBEING YET HE STILL HAS THE AIRPORT OPEN. TOURIST ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER AND BECAUSE THEY ARE “VACCINATED”, THEY AREN’T TESTED ALTHOUGH THEY ARE VERYYYYYYYY LIKELY BRINGING THE VIRUS INTO HE COUNTRY BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THATS EXACTLY WHAT HE WANT TO PUSH MANDATORY VACCINATION. PUTTING US TO 8pm WAS A MOVE OF POWER NOT CAUSE HE CARES CAUSE WHYYYYYY WOULD THE AIRPORT BE OPEN IF HE WANTED TO STOP AND ISOLATE THE VIRUS? WAKE UP PEOPLE.

Comments are closed.