In an end-of-year message, outgoing Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman, Gaston Browne, urged the region’s people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, describing such a move as a goodwill gesture.
“Taking the vaccine is one act of goodwill towards our fellow citizens that resonates with this season of joy,” the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister declared.
He mentioned several areas in which CARICOM solidarity had been evident, including efforts to acquire the life-saving vaccines to protect people and give member states a chance to begin the urgently needed economic recovery.
In addition, Browne highlighted sharing highly appreciated vaccines from the Government of India and the dogged persistence led by Heads of Government, which eventually secured supplies from the United States.
He also pointed to the engagement of the African Medical Supplies Platform for vaccines at discounted costs as exemplifying the unity which is the heartbeat of the Community.
However, the CARICOM Chairman observed that the region had not successfully persuaded sufficient citizens to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, reduce the rate of infections and deaths, and stress on health systems and personnel.
CARICOM member states have confirmed over 420,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 10,000 deaths from the virus.