Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre Sunday night made a passionate appeal to the people of Saint Lucia to get vaccinated, warning that the Omicron Variant can easily overwhelm the local health system.
Although Saint Lucia has not confirmed the presence of Omicron, health officials believe it may already be here.
“Omicron is not just a normal wave, it is a huge one,” Pierre declared in his New Year address to the nation, adding that the country cannot afford the luxury of lockdowns anymore.
He observed that the countries reporting that the variant is milder than previous waves have a vaccination rate two or three times that of Saint Lucia.
Pierre asserted that there’s little comfort in the vaccination of one in every four Saint Lucians after vaccines have been available locally for an entire year.
The PM said vaccines have proved to be safe and effective.
“We no longer have the luxury of time. Doubt, procrastination and delay will only bring disease and death. I urge every Saint Lucian to go out and get vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” the Castries East MP said.
He explained that every citizen has a personal responsibility to protect their life and the lives of others.
“To every Saint Lucian who is not yet vaccinated I again urge you to get vaccinated. I repeat – to every Saint Lucian that is not yet vaccinated, I urge you, please, to get vaccinated,” Pierre pleaded.
The Prime Minister said he is fully vaccinated and has received his booster shot.
“This is not a time to play games with your lives. Even if the Omicron might be milder than Delta, it will still kill many. Please, stop taking unnecessary risks with your lives and the lives of others,” he declared.
Pierre also addressed other issues including crime, the nation’s finances, justice, governance, and actions to complete St Jude Hospital in his address.
The complete address appears below: