Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne, has made a strong appeal to the Dominican public to get vaccinated in order to slow down or stop any transmission of Covid-19.
Speaking during the first edition of Prime Minister Skerrit’s Sunday talk show for 2021, Dr. Etienne revealed that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available in the region. However, she said there is a level of reluctance and concern among citizens about taking the vaccine.
“Take the vaccine by all means. I am waiting for mine…there are several reasons for taking the vaccine, with the emergence of mutations, because that is one of the things that happens to viruses if there’s a magnitude and level of transmission, it is easy for the viruses to mutate,” she explained.
The PAH Director pointed out that with the mutations as has been seen with the United Kingdom variant, the virus “may well acquire the ability to be transmitted much easier or to cause more serious disease” and urged people to take the vaccine to “prevent ourselves from being infected and possible death.”
Dr. Etienne cautioned people who think that they are fine because they are not old or they do not have underlying conditions that “more and more young people are becoming infected.”
She encouraged governments and other community organizations to continue to educate community members to fight vaccine hesitancy and the wrong impressions that people have about the vaccine.
According to the PAHO official, although PAHO said some vaccine will be available in March 2021, “we probably can see that advance and receive some vaccines earlier…but a note of caution, you are not going to receive the full number or quantity of vaccines.”
Meantime, Dominica-born, United States-based medical doctor, Dale Dangleben who spoke recently on Q-95 is also encouraging the general public to be vaccinated.
Dr. Dangleben has already received his Covid-19 vaccine.
He believes that vaccination is one of the greatest inventions in medicine.
“I think at this stage the risk of not getting vaccinated is greater than getting vaccinated,” he stated. “There are a lot of conspiracy theories…”
Dr. Dangleben encouraged people to understand the science and stop saying, “people want to destroy us.”
“That is nonsense, we are setting ourselves back,” he argued maintaining that the vaccine will enable people to fight the virus.
“What we have to do is understand our history and be careful how you move forward,” Dr. Dangleben advised. “I am saying this is the way forward for us.”
Prime Minister Skerrit has given his word that he will take the vaccine whenever it is made available and urges all citizens to do the same.
“I, Roosevelt Skerrit, will certainly take the vaccine and I would urge every citizen to do likewise,” he stated. “It will be a voluntary offering and the intention of the government is to ensure that it can make vaccines available to all our citizens and residents.”
The Prime Minister added, “It is important for us to take it and I will be certainly first in line if the government allows me.”