Government, business to tackle vaccine hesitancy

Energy Minister Stuart Young.
Energy Minister Stuart Young.

ENERGY Minister Stuart Young said on Wednesday Government is seeking the private sector's help in fighting covid19 vaccine hesitancy.

He made this statement at a virtual news conference, after a virtual meeting between the Government and representatives of the private sector.

After noting that vaccination was one of the topics raised during the meeting, Young said, "We continue to give the commitment that the Governmentt is doing everything it legally possibly and ethically can, to get a supply and get a consistent supply of vaccinations."

He said there were ongoing efforts by the Prime Minister, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne in this regard.

Young said a combination of the current public health and state of emergency (SoE) regulations and a vaccination programme were important in bringing covid19 under control and striking a balance between lives and livelihoods.

He added, "We are utilising all of the vaccines that we possibly can."

Young also said Government has found there is vaccine hesitancy in the population and is asking the business community to do what it can to encourage people to be vaccinated.

He and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said Government acknowledges the challenges the private sector has been experiencing over the last year and a half of the covid19 pandemic.

He said Government continues to listen and engage with all stakeholders about covid19, and similar meetings will be held with other groups about the effects of the pandemic on them.

Supermarket Association president Rajiv Diptee said, "Vaccine hesitancy is also something that is prevalent in our sector, as we note that there is still education and communication where supermarket staff and citizens are concerned."

He added a recent webinar the association held about the Sinopharm vaccine "went some way to addressing this and we will be embarking on a campaign to highlight pro-vaccination efforts."

Young, Gopee-Scoon, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, Sport and Community Development Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and Culture, Tourism and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell represented the Government at the meeting.

The private sector was represented by the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, TT Manufacturers Association, American Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Confederation of Regional Business Chambers and the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association.


"Government, business to tackle vaccine hesitancy"

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