The Grenada Bankers Association has thrown its support behind Government’s decision to push for more Grenadians to become inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine because it’s the only sustainable way out of the pandemic.
“The harsh truth is that low levels of vaccination lengthen the period of economic downturn as well as social disruptions and increase the likelihood of more restrictions and lockdowns. Therefore, vaccine take-up must increase now to arrest the rising human toll caused by the pandemic and to halt further strains on the economy and financial sector,” said a joint statement from the Association and the Ministry of Finance following a recent meeting.
“While we understand that in normal times the choice to get vaccinated is a personal one, in the context of the deadly pandemic, the public good supersedes personal choice. These are extraordinary times and as such, extraordinary actions are necessary,” said the statement which was disseminated via the Government Information Service (GIS).
“Therefore, we strongly encourage all citizens and residents to get vaccinated, because vaccination is the only sustainable way out of the pandemic and to protect those most at risk in the frontline in all sectors, be it public or private including banking and government services,” the statement said.
The meeting according to the statement discussed macroeconomic and financial issues, including the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, giving special focus to the issue of vaccination.
“The emerging global evidence suggests that higher rates of vaccination tend to be associated with lower rates of infection, hospitalisation, and deaths related to Covid-19. We also strongly encourage Grenadians to counter misinformation with credible and specific facts from reliable sources, including from family, friends and co-workers who themselves have already been vaccinated,” said the joint statement.
Both sides are concerned about the relatively low vaccination levels in Grenada, which heighten the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak and its accompanying social and economic ramifications.
“We also encourage everyone to adhere to the health protocols of physical distancing, hand-washing, sanitising, and masking. We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our co-workers and to play our part in protecting lives and livelihoods,” the statement said.
At present, only the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine is available on the island, and since the programme rolled out in February, a total of 21,859 has received the first dose of and 17,019 have received the second dose. Grenada is hoping to reach herd immunity of 70% of the population.