THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine supports the Prime Minister’s view that Tobago could have been a safe zone if the majority of its population 12 and older were vaccinated.
Dr Rowley expressed this view last Friday, during a news conference at his official residence in Blenheim, Tobago.
But he said Tobagonians have been unco-operative in the campaign to curb the spread of covid19 by increasing the rate of vaccination.
“We hoped that the uptake in Tobago would have been higher and faster and (it) could have been a safe zone by now and more businesses could have opened up,” she told Newsday.
But she said the island has not done badly.
As of Tuesday, Davidson-Celestine said a total of 19,041 people on the island have been partially vaccinated, which amounted to 53 per cent of the targeted number of 36,000.
Forty-one per cent of the targeted group, 14,508 people, are fully vaccinated.
“We set out to vaccinate 70 per cent of the 51,000 eligible population of 12 years and up. But if we are able to do 100 per cent, that would offer this island and Tobagonians serious protection.”
Davidson-Celestine said vaccine hesitancy exists all over Tobago.
“The misinformation through social media has not helped the situation at all.”
On Tuesday, Tobago recorded two more covid19-related deaths, bringing the toll to 72.
The island has 44 new covid19 cases and 442 active cases.
Davidson-Celestine said if infections and deaths continue to rise, the infrastructure to care for patients would be a challenge.
“Soon, we will be unable to keep adding facilities and resources. That’s not a solution. It’s a burden we all have to bear every time an unvaccinated person gets covid19 and has to be hospitalised or dies.
"Nearly 100 per cent of the people who have died from covid19 have been unvaccinated,” she warned.
Davidson-Celestine said the division began its community drive last Friday at the Port Mall in Scarborough.
“We are seeking to meet people one on one to answer their questions and allay their fears and making the accessibility of the vaccine easier.
"For those living in the countryside, we recommend the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”
She added: “We are addressing people’s concerns head-on.
"The public is under the impression that the covid19 vaccines are killing people. But the data shows almost 100 per cent of the people dying from covid19 are unvaccinated.
"Where is the data that people are dying because of the vaccines?”
Davidson-Celestine said the four people who died in this country after being fully vaccinated had other health conditions.
“The vaccine can only protect you from covid19, not every disease or condition.”