by Linda Straker
- National vaccination process will run from 22-26 February 2021
- AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine gift from Government of India has 3 month lifespan
- Media should take vaccine and share personal experience of side effect with public
Health officials in Grenada have invited Opposition Parliamentarians and media workers to be among the first batch of citizens to become vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine given to the island as a gift from the Government of India.
The gift which was sent to the region through negotiations with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley came ahead of the 45,600 which Grenada is scheduled to receive through the COVAX facility.
The gift has a life span of 3 months according to Health Minister Nickolas Steele.
While the invitation to opposition parliamentarians did not come with a condition, Minister Steele suggested that media people should take the vaccine under the condition that a personal experience of the side effect is shared with the public.
“I want to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to all media workers to take the vaccine. Please proceed at your soonest convenience to the Radisson site this week and I have already requested that our medical personnel down there to facilitate you as quickly as possible so that you receive your vaccination,” Steele said before outlining the condition. “Under one condition, you do what media workers do, which is you report on the effects from a personal point a view this time.”
Steele reminded opposition parliamentarians that they can also get vaccinated. “I also want to take this opportunity to officially, I know it was done through the Ministry, but I want to extend it again to the opposition parliamentarians who have not as yet received the vaccination for them to proceed at their soonest convenience.”
Days after the first batch of vaccines arrived, the Government of Grenada began to roll out its Covid-19 vaccination programme on Friday, 12 February 2021 with the first doses being administered to several frontline workers. Top government officials who have been identified as advocates of the vaccination programme were also vaccinated among the first 50.
As of 23 February, more than 1,000 frontline and hospitality workers were vaccinated. Under the PAHO strategy, it is anticipated that by June at least one-third of the population in each member state will be vaccinated. Grenada’s population currently stands at approximately 110,000.
The national vaccination process is being conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and will run from 22-26 February 2021. The current targeted frontline workers receiving the vaccine will include law enforcement officers such as police, customs, and immigration; port/dockworkers; airport workers, hotel employees and certified taxi operators.