Starting today, Dominicans can start getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots as the government begins the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccine implementation plan.
On February 12, President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin, was the first person on the island to be given the AstraZeneca vaccine from a batch of 70,000 doses gifted to Dominica by the government of India. Since then, hundreds of frontline workers have been vaccinated as the government continues to implement its COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“The Ministry Of Health will commence vaccination of its priority target groups at all seven health districts,” Prime Minister Skerrit disclosed on his Anou Pale talk show on Sunday.
Vaccinations will be administered from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The vaccine will be given at type 3 health centres in Roseau, Grand Bay, St. Joseph, Castle Bruce, Marigot and Portsmouth.
“To receive the vaccine, you are encouraged to contact the district nurse or visit the health centres mentioned by starting on Monday February 22nd,” the prime minister stated. “You may also visit vaccineregistration.dominica.gov.dm to register.”
Mr. Skerrit reiterated his earlier statement that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, however, he said he believes ” It is in your best interest…and in the best interest of your family and in the best interest of our community and in the best interest of our nation to get vaccinated.”
He admonished citizens to refrain from getting involved in “all of this unnecessary talk about vaccines and about conspiracy theories and all of this small talk that’s taking place, not only in Dominica but across the world” and appealed to Dominicans to participate in what he described as a critical step in combatting and preventing the spread of the disease.
“We have been through very difficult times with CVID-19, the whole of two thousand and twenty and certainly the whole of 2021 thus far and scientist are saying to us, the experts are saying to us that vaccines will help us fight back against COVID-19,” he noted.
He made it clear that the vaccine would be made available to all Dominican citizens and residents.
” So,…our friends from the Dominican Republic, you can certainly get vaccinated; our Haitian friends, you can get vaccinated as well, and all our wonderful people who are resident here working or on vacation, we are prepared to extend these vaccines to you,” Skerrit declared. “This is a public good and we need to ensure that everyone would like to get vaccinated can get vaccinated. We have enough vaccines in Dominica to give 25,000 Dominicans a double dose of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine.”
He added that in about two weeks some 20,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Dominica from China which will be authorized for national use and made available to the Dominican population. Some additional supplies of vaccine are also expected from the Covax facility administered by the The WHO.
“Let us not wait for countries to impose on us the need for us to have a vaccine to come to their countries. This is going to happen, trust me”, the Prime Minister cautioned. “Because when the United States gets its herd [population] immunity and the UK gets its herd immunity and France and other countries, they gonna say, look, for you to come to our country and rightly so, you need to show your vaccination card.”
He said he, himself, will receive his shot at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital on Tuesday as the ministry of health has said that they will not be doing vaccinations in his home village of Vieille Case where he had initially intended to take the jab.