Hundreds of residents flock to get vaccinated ahead of today’s new mandate

More than 700 people flocked to the American University of Antigua (AUA) on Saturday to get vaccinated against Covid (Photos by Johnny Jno Baptiste)
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By Shermain Bique-Charles

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is commending residents who turned out to get vaccinated ahead of the imposition of mandatory jabs for public sector workers taking effect Monday.

Tough new rules announced last Thursday require all of government’s thousands of employees to be jabbed in order to enter workplaces.

More than 700 people flocked to the American University of Antigua (AUA) on Saturday to get inoculated.

In an interview with Observer yesterday, Browne said that scores more left without getting jabbed due to health conditions along with the lengthy queues.

“We had one centre open with a record number of vaccinations. About 50 had to be deferred because of high blood pressure and other reasons, and scores left unvaccinated because of the long wait,” he said.

Browne said, nevertheless, these men and women turned out, signalling their understanding that Covid could have serious implications on their livelihoods.

“I want to commend them for respecting the vaccine mandate which is in essence to protect lives and livelihoods, and help us to achieve national immunity to defeat Covid. I want them to know I love them all,” Browne told Observer.

The event was organised by the university in association with the Ministry of Health.

The turnout has also been described as the largest in recent weeks.

Senator Shenella Govia, who is part of the government’s education team, told Observer that the process was conducted seamlessly.

“The team left at around 7.30pm on Saturday. We are grateful about the turnout. When individuals drove into AUA, they were escorted by the security guards. They were escorted into their rooms and then to registration….,” she said.

Govia said there has been an uptick in vaccination over the past few days, and the team is currently monitoring the progress and will make adjustments where necessary to ensure everyone is accommodated.

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