by Dr. Charles Greenidge
Many Caribbean islands are doing reasonably well at the moment as regards COVID but I am very concerned that what we are really seeing is the “calm before the storm”.
This phenomenon has been seen in several countries which at one point thought they were doing well and had the answer to the pandemic, only to find out that they were simply in the “calm before the storm”.
This has happened in Japan, it has happened in Taiwan and it has happened with devastating effect in India. I believe if Saint Lucians truly understood the possible devastation that Covid can yet unleash everyone would get vaccinated now.
Vaccinations are proving to be very effective. We have seen the numbers drop in countries such as Israel and the United States. But an observation which is of particular importance to us in Saint Lucia is what happened in Serrana, a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil.
Like many states in Brazil, they were suffering from the effects of the coronavirus. They set out to vaccinate all the citizens of the city with the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac, which only has a 50% effectivity as compared to the Astra Zeneca vaccine which is 80%.
What they found was that the hospitalization rate for COVID dropped by 86% and the death rate dropped by 95% .These results were achieved as soon as they vaccinated 75% of the population.
When the Delta variant or a similar aggressive coronavirus variant comes to Saint Lucia, we will need to be vaccinated otherwise we will have a lethal wave. There are still persons who are concerned about side effects of the vaccine. They need to realize that the chance of getting a serious side effect from the vaccine is extremely low and the chance of getting seriously ill with Covid is much greater, much much greater.
Just like the situation of the oncoming hurricane; preparation saves lives. Saint Lucia, we have the time to prepare and that means – get vaccinated now.