PM warns of possible lockdown, hospitalisations and deaths if herd immunity is not achieved soon


Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne has called on “stubborn” Antigua and Barbudans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 reiterating warnings that the government finances could collapse if the island fails to achieve herd immunity.

Speaking at the re-naming of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) on Tuesday night to that of the 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 thied 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 and further devastating the local economy.

“He warned that with borrowing options drying up, his administration is facing an enormous task to keep revenues afloat.

“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 connection 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 the regional counterparts who have greater confidence in the vaccines.


“Don’t we care about ourselves, don’t we care about our own health, the health of our children, the health of our neighbours. Do we not care about the viability of this country? So taking a vaccine is excessively your personal decision based in your constitutional right and freedoms.

“You have no obligation to the wider society? You have no obligation to your children and your children’s children. What is it about us as Antiguans and Barbudans that makes us so stubborn that we are literally putting our own development, our health and certainly the love of our loved ones at risk,” he asked.

Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 1, 251 cases of the virus since March last year with 42 deaths.

The re-naming of the lone public hospital after the island’s 83-yer-old national hero, who also served as the island’s second prime minister, was attended by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, and Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph.

Sir Rodney described the event as a “significant milestone in the history of our nation” while Sir Molwyn who served under Sir Lester commended his leadership.

“If we can name Holberton after someone that made no contribution then we can rename MSJMC after someone who has done so much for this country. It is time for us to honour our own,” Sir Molwyn said, dismissing the opposition over the renaming of the hospital.

Bird was not present at the ceremony, but was represented by his daughter, Donyelle Bird.

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  1. Will there come a time when you will not be able to meet your obligations? Stop the threats and bullying the population. Educate them and let the medical professionals be your compass. Not your balance sheet. It’s ridiculous to make this a black and white issue. You have gone down into the pits of hell. You should have been forthright with the population and taken the same vaccine by the people that elected you and not participate in a clandestine operation and conspiracy with the Hadeed family to import and be inoculated with a vaccine not readily available in Antigua and Barbuda. You should have been first in line with your family to take the Sputnik vaccine from Russia. You’re full of hot air! And other things! Lead by example. It goes a long way. Upp 17. Comrades naught. Comrades force his behind to call a convention and let the challenger take him out.

  2. Antiguans and Barbudans. I’m not a scientist or a medical professional.

    For the sake of the country, the economy, its citizens old and young. Avail yourself to the Astra Zeneca Vaccine, Pfizer or Modena.To hell with Sputnik. Keep yourselves alive to vote Gaston’s ass out of office. Labor party needs a new leader. Country first! Molwyn step up. The country needs your intellect and leadership abilities.

  3. Freetownson, Pfizer and Moderns are not available in Antigua and Barbuda. They have to be kept in temperature as cold as Antarctica. That’s how the transfection agent is kept alive.

  4. It’s time world dictator traitor tyrant Gaston Browne be removed from office. That scum only continues to bully and steal from the nation. Time to get rid of him and all his rats.

    By the way, where is Maria? Did he bang she again?

  5. Freetownson well put. Time and time again this guy has done repeatedly what you mentioned tapes don’t lie . I HAVE ZERO RESPECT FOR this guy . I can’t even get to the point of taking a look at most /any achievements because of his DISGUSTING , RUDE ,DISRESPECTFUL ,OBNOXIOUS AND SPITEFUL STYLE OF GOVERNING .
    I VOTED FOR HIM LAST ELECTION but how times has changed.
    Fool me once SHAME ON YOU
    Fool me twice SHAME ON 🤔

  6. When locals refuse the vaccine in large numbers, they will only bring about their own economic demise as tourism will not recover due to us being on the UK amber list and having US travel restrictions against us. That will result in less taxes and less government income. In the end, government will have no choice but to lay-off government employees. Unvaccinated people and government employees will bring about their own unemployment.

  7. All those that are not vaccinated, you have been taking various vaccines all your life what is different now? The GOAB should open up for those vaccinated so as to show trust in the vaccine. No mask, no quarantine, no social distancing, no restrictions for vaccinated persons. For those that want to risk it without the vaccine have at it. Just my take on the issue.


    • Antigua doesn’t have any mRNA vaccines. They are, no doubt, more effective and come with less risks, but Antigua only has the AstraZenca vaccine and some of the Russian one.

  8. I guarantee you if there is a leadership challenge in the ABLP and the votes are sealed, GB will lose. This guy is a ticking bomb that will bring down the organisation.

  9. What was the response from the British PM in reference to the vaccine request from PM Browne and while we are it what was the response from the US also?


  11. Gaston Browne is largely right in that Antigua probably won’t fully recover unless we reach herd immunity, and I am with him in urging Antiguans to get vaccinated. But I think he’s going about it the wrong way.

    First, I want reiterate my view that the government erred when it put all its eggs in one vaccine basket, not knowing how it would all play out safety- and effective-wise.

    I think that instead of these appeals to national interest, Brwone should be talking about the vaccines’ safety. There are widespread misperceptions about the vaccines, both their safety and benefits. There are real benefits notwithstanding that none entirely prevent infection and transmission. And the vaccines are safe on the whole, with only minor side effects. So more effort should be put into informing the public.

    That said, AstraZenca vaccine does significantly increase the risks of rare blood clots, and some people have in fact died from these clots. Questions have also been raised about the long term safety of the Russian vaccine.

    So the really important thing is that the government should leave no stone unturned in trying to secure one of the mRNA vaccines, which are both more effective against the virus and more safe. As things stand, I cannot blame people for being hesitant to take the vaccines available, though — no doubt — some of this hesitancy is due to misconceptions and not just their real risks. If they are disabused of them they should have no problem taking one of the mRNA vaccines. That, at least, is our best hope.

  12. Gaston Browne,your Fear Mongering and bull dung would not work.You are going about this situation the incorrect way.In my opinon,you need to really come to the people as their humble servant. Talk with the people to achieve. Those goals you are looking for.I have listened to you.You come across in a very abrasive and cantankerous manner.

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