Nurses demand highest efficacy vaccine for members

Nurses during 2018 protest/File Photo

The ABNA is concerned and troubled that the Public Health System of Antigua and Barbuda has been grossly undermined and compromised, as it relates to the tried and proven Public Health Strategy of Vaccination administration for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, due to the clandestine actions of the Country’s Leadership, along with “Wealthy” members of the Public, who were allowed to bring in their own vaccine to vaccinate themselves.

The Public Health System already has in place an established Policy governing vaccine sourcing, distribution and storage etc. This Policy embraces the entire Public Health System which includes both Government and Private Sector Institutions & Practitioner, through its long standing, “Expanded Programme of Immunization” (EPI).

The EPI System facilitates close Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for epidemiologic control of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. It also provides for accountability of Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) previously referred to as Events Supposedly Attributed to Vaccination and Immunization (ESAVI).

The EPI is a well-structured, organized regional/global system designed by PAHO/WHO, with a designated manager who attends an annual meeting to which each member country submits a very detailed report of its vaccination status. This report is generated through detailed data collection and recording carried out by mostly by Public Health Nurses who are responsible for administration of vaccines.

The report accounts for number and type of vaccines administered, the dosage, any adverse events associated with the vaccine administration, population coverage and so on.
The recent action has allowed:

1. eroded public confidence and has increased Public Mistrust in Vaccination and even more so in the proposed new COVID-19 Vaccine.

2. made it much more difficult for the Public Health Team to educate the public concerning
vaccination, especially in an already highly charged anti-vaccine environment.

3. compromised the Public Health System. Allowing a seeming “free for all” importation of the vaccine will lead to the loss of vaccine control to include accountability for monitoring efficacy of the vaccine/s, monitoring vaccine coverage and events associated with vaccine
administration. In addition, we are aware that the two vaccines donated have not yet been
approved by the Caribbean regulatory systems (CRS) or CARPHA to register the product prior to the importation and use in the population of Antigua and Barbuda.

4. Further taxed an already stretched/limited health workforce and especially the nursing health workforce.

In addition, the ABNA opines that the recent action and policy decision belies the Government’s commitment to the principles of “Universal Health Coverage” purported by United Nation and PAHO/WHO membership of which Antigua and Barbuda is a part. The Policy certainly does not support “Universal Access” to the best possible health care for people of all socio-economic status when there is a built-in discrimination with respect to efficacy and cost of the type of vaccine that will seemingly be made available to the poorer and vulnerable population of Antigua and Barbuda.

ABNA is therefore calling on the Minister of Health Assigned Task Force, PAHO Country Rep and Senior Technical Officers in the Ministry of Health to reconsider this decision with the view of changing this policy decision.

Furthermore, ABNA demands that the highest efficacy vaccine be made available to the nursing health workforce and will refuse as frontline workers to take the vaccine with least efficacy and which still remains questionable world-wide.

ABNA is willing to collaborate with the Policy Makers in creating a holistic, ethical Public Health System to include a vaccination/immunization policy that is fair and equitable.

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  1. I am so proud to see there are some self- respecting professionals here in Antigua and Barbuda. What the Prime Minister did along with a “wealthy family” is a shame and disgrace and should be met with as much scorn as we can possibly muster. The nurses have every right to be outraged and I hope Antiguans stand with them. I surely do. Let’s get a hashtag going #IStandwithNurses

    • If a wealthy family decided to pay for the vaccine that they prefer. What is the issue.
      Isn’t one of the purposes of having money to buy the best if one so desires? I do not understand the problem. Who would not pick what they prefer if there is a choice.
      Isn’t it also their prerogative to offer anything to whom they choose?

      • Onlooker,
        It is my understanding that the Prime Minister also got vaccinated using Moderna. If that is true, that is not leadership. He should lead by example. How do you tell the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda to take something else that your not taking. It means you don’t trust it. If it’s not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for us. Astronomical mistake. Total disregard, tone deaf and lack of leadership skills.

    • What wealthy family?……don’t hide behind “….” If you come on here to make a post… your mind man. If you know the information is truthful and reliable and not done out of maliciousness……Let us all know. You are also shielding them…..

      • No, you idiot. I am repeating what the Information Minister said. He said a “wealthy family” brought it in. He did not give a name so if you want to know who the wealthy family is, ask the Minister. I am not putting “wealthy family” in inverted commas for style but because that is what was literally said. You obviously do not know what is going on in Antigua and you’re only pretending to be interested.
        Now @Onlooker- Did you read the letter or just jump to the comments? Because the letter above says, the family would have breached local health systems by doing their own thing. Because you’re rich you can do what you like and rules and regulations don’t apply to you? But then again, Antiguan people foolly bad and would take someone defecating in their mouths and say thanks.
        I said what the PM did along with the “wealthy family” is reprehensible because of the Prime Minister allegedly accessed the vaccine THROUGH them. The family is wrong but the PM is even worse off for doing so because he is a public figure. Me done talk.

    • For real. If way makes the “highest effective” vaccine don’t even have enough for their people then who are we to get. Since they don’t want it give it to people who are willing to take it. Talk about ungreatful.

    • Or better yet wait until the final chapter is written on the effectiveness of these vaccines. With the new strains of this virus popping up all over the globe scientist are now in the process of making adjustments to existing vaccines in an attempt to make them more effective.

      • Sound advise.
        Actually better to taking the Astra Zenica vaccine now than waiting later for a Moderna or Phizer vaccine. As the virus mutates the so called better vaccines may not be effective if the wait is too long.
        Just something for the nurses to consider.

  2. That life raft that the " MOUSTACHE " is on and ⛵ sailing away in , none of you going get in it . He already cut rope and watch you all drowning 🗣️ , sailing away from the train wreck that he created with his protocols . That life raft that the " MOUSTACHE " is on and ⛵ sailing away in , none of you going get in it . He already cut rope and watch you all drowning 🗣️ , sailing away from the train wreck that he created with his protocols .

    So here we go again . You really think these people are going to listen to you and take your suggestions , ideas or give in very easily to public pressure .

  3. The well off people who can afford better vaccines should be allowed to purchase and take their own vaccines privately. The general public would have to take the lower quality vaccine since they are not in a position to pay. You can’t be beggars and choosers at the same time.

    Just like the PM, I have already taken my vaccine too and would not need any more.

    • That’s very sad.

      Also, I think you mean – “and I WILL not need any more.”


    • But then why offer the vaccine with low efficacy to ppl of this country don’t we deserve better as well..why should we be guinea pigs just because we can’t Oxford it…. THE NURSES ARE RIGHT AND I STAND WITH THEM!!!

  4. Me waan higher efficacy vaccine else me nar tek no dig….Well go check Lester B he is known to offer some good JABS!

  5. Congratulations to the nurses on your courageous and correct stand. I call on the other unions in AB to support the nurses in refusing to accept second rate vaccines and opposing queue jumpers

  6. Antigua really is the complaining capitol of the world. Everything is a problem. Never thankful for anything the get and the sad thing is these very same people who are complaining are the very same ones who have said they are not taking the vaccine.

  7. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Death comes for us all, one’s wealth may delay that inevitable waltz but we will all dance with the grim reaper, and fortunately Science has not cracked the immortality code so let the wealthy take the best vaccine money can buy, to quote Chris Rock, “I can see your future, you’re going to die.”

  8. that is great stand up to him dont let mr pm do what he feel like with us, teachers stand up front line workers stand up pple stand up

  9. Sad to say, Mr. prime minister, but the action you took in having the moderna jab in private is A REAL SERIOUS LOW. If ever at all, I thought you could redeem yourself in good faith; then that slim chance has dropped out of the bottomless pit.
    If you really consider that what you have done is a good thing then heaven help you, sir. It was far more than disrespectful to the nation that you should lead.
    It is unholy and selfish.
    A nation looks to its leaders to serve and be good examples, but you exhibit neither characteristic. Your motives are SELFISH AND EVIL ! All who follow you are on the same ship and it is sinking. Come out from among them, people. Do not be partakers of the evil.
    Yes, I am referring to the business people, the trade union leaders, the air traffic controller, the hotel owners, the statutory board members, the permanent secretaries, the managers of government departments, religious leaders, politrickians, radio talk show hosts, political party jumpers, those who go on radio every day and LIE TO THE MAX: ALL OF YOU. CORRUPT AND WICKED. YOUR DAY OF JUDGEMENT IS SOON AT HAND !

    Heaven takes notes of all your (ours also) thoughts and actions. You will have to answer to the ONE and ONLY SUPREME CREATOR for your evil deeds. There is no way of getting around that.
    The Bible speaks of a time when the heart of man will become so corrupt and evil that we do wrong and think that is is good. You are displaying this very trait such in your behavior. You have attained to that point where you have no regard for neither man or God! That is really sad ! I am warning you: CHANGE YOUR WAYS NOW. The religious leaders are afraid to tell you this, but they too will have to face the same judgement.
    All who condone your behavior are complicit in your disgraceful actions. All who stand in parliament and utter lies and deception; you better take warning also.

    The Creator allows man to have his own way. God will NEVER ..AND I REPEAT, NEVER; FORCE HIS WILL ON MANKIND. However, remember JUDGEMENT IS COMING SOON ! No way, any of us can escape that day.

    Consider your ways: YOU HYPROCRITES ! The filthy lucre you obtain will not save you.


  10. How do we know that these biotech vaccines are better? There are people dying and having side effects after taking the Pfizer vaccine. These vaccines were rushed to the market and you can’t even sue the companies if the vaccines turn out to be a disaster in the future. Plus these vaccines are prohibitively expensive and very unstable. The US has had to discard some of these vaccines because of problems probably with storage.
    There are a lot of countries around the world administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. If was not acceptable, why would they?
    Poor countries, including Antigua, can’t afford these BioNTech vaccines. I suggest that people who want the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer to pay for them.
    I think that sometimes we protest to much.

  11. PB
    Pfizer vaccines need to be stored in specialized coolers at -80 degrees Celsius, Moderna -20 degrees Celsius. so you will need specialized freezers to store them. Two shots 28days apart. You would have to be well connected to someone over seas to buy vaccines, not to mention the special shipping container, and so on. Just something to think about.

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