Unless there is a ninety percent vaccination rate among the population of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Covid-19 death toll will continue to rise.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the projection when he called the Issue At Hand interactive programme on WE FM last Sunday.
“The best tool in the toolbox to fight Covid is the vaccine. And more people will die, you know, if we don’t get vaccination up to 90 percent of the population,” Gonsalves said.
The Prime Minister said that the Pfizer vaccine is available and children over 12 years old are now eligible for vaccination using that vaccine.
The ninety percent mentioned is 20 percent more than the 70 percent which was said to be the percentage of the population needed to be vaccinated in order to achieve “herd immunity.”
The Prime Minister’s projection of more people dying follows comments he made recently in relation to stocking up of body bags in preparation for an anticipated increase in Covid-19 deaths with the presence of three variants (Delta, MU and Gamma) here.
“What are the things which are of focus for us? Ventilators, we have to see how many we have in our possession, those which are working, and we are ordering more. Oxygen; you see that problem in Jamaica?” he asked.
Prime Minister Gonsalves read from a list of items which he said Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer-Beache had prepared. Those items included IV stands, beds, wheelchairs, trolleys, sheets and suction machines and drugs, including hydrocortisone and anaesthetic agents and IV fluids.
“We are asking all the departments, all the different areas to check for body bags because you have to prepare and to make arrangements for the use of any refrigerated container,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves referred to the spike in Covid-19 cases in late December last year and early in this year following months of few recorded cases.