Former Premier of Montserrat Reuben T. Meade is urging elected officials to encourage the residents to be vaccinated as Governor Andrew Pearce says time is running out for the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the governor said there are still over 400 doses of the first shipment of the vaccine, which were received from the United Kingdom in February.
“These doses expire in late May. If we don’t take advantage of them they will go to waste. We cannot send them on elsewhere for legal indemnity and practical reasons. To throw these life-saving medications away would be unconscionable at a time when countries like India are being ravaged by the virus and are desperate for more vaccine. We must do better than that. It is our personal, collective and moral duty,” Governor Pearce urged.
The government received an additional 2000 doses of the vaccine on March 31. However, at the current rate, they will go unused if more residents do not take the dual dosage drug.
“Vaccination is safe and highly effective. Thirteen hundred of us on island have had it without problems (nearly 500 million have had the jab worldwide) and are now well protected. The vaccination programme in the UK has transformed the country’s situation and saved tens of thousands of lives. The WHO, PAHO and all the major regulatory authorities have approved the vaccine after rigorous testing and are pressing for its urgent roll-out worldwide to stop the virus and its trail of death, ill health and anxiety.
“A high level of vaccination across our community will be key to our return to normality and re-opening our economy. We may not be able to get more vaccine in future as world demand is so high. I urge all who have not had the jab to do so urgently – for their own well-being, and that of their families, friends and our whole community. There is no reason to delay,” he stated.
Former Premier, Reuben T. Meade said there needs to be more commitment “from the elected members of the Legislative Assembly. There has been very little effort from that group in encouraging the need to vaccinate. It may be time to link taking the vaccine to some other benefit other than the health benefit. A vaccinated person is quarantined the same amount of time as a non-vaccinated person when traveling into Montserrat. We need to be more proactive to show the benefits beyond the health benefits.”
Governor Pearce noted that “there is a lot of information circulating on social media about vaccination. Some of it is sadly false or malevolent. Please put your trust in the real experts. Our UK regulatory authorities. Their counterparts in all major countries. The WHO. PAHO and our own excellent Ministry of Health team here. All are united in their urging of us to take the vaccine and protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
Residents can register to be vaccinated by visiting their community clinic or online at https://www.gov.ms/vaccination