(Kingstown – St Vincent) – Non-vaccinated Vincentians will have to pay EC 26.00 to get their COVID-19 test done at health centers across the country.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that workplaces are asking for tests to be produced to ensure a safe working environment.
Gonsalves said the tests are being done at the expense of taxpayers. However, the state can no longer carry that burden.
“You don’t want to take the vaccine; why should the state pay for your test every Monday morning. People must speak the truth, you get the first one free, I think also they give you the second one free, but you decide you are not taking the vaccine for whatever reason and I take it, am a taxpayer I have to pay for it, which cost almost ten USD for each”.
“Let us say there are 50 thousand employers in the state, let us also say 40 thousand need a test every Monday, we have to pay 10 USD for each test, that’s 400,000 USD, it’s unfair”.
Gonsalves said the state has received the first dose of 50,000 Russian Sputnik vaccines and urges Vincentians to get inoculated.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets the vaccine, told India Today that the WHO is expected to approve the Sputnik V vaccine in September-October.
As of July 15, over 25,500 vaccines have been administered here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.