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Dominica top three officials first to receive vaccine as part of roll-out vaccination programme

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Dominica: The President of Dominica Charles Savarin gets the AstraZeneca vaccine with other dignitaries on Friday.

The President took the vaccine this morning (February 12, 2021) at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital. His wife was given the jab quickly afterward.

Moments after taking the shot, President Savarin urged fellow Dominicans to take the vaccine, noting that it “will assist in our battle against the pandemic.”

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“I hope everybody else in Dominica will do the same. I know few have some misgivings about vaccinations, but they are not new,” he said. “We’ve been vaccinated versus polio, against smallpox, and vaccinated against several epidemics and pandemics, so I would recommend all Dominicans to take advantage of this chance to improve the immunity of the population against Covid-19.”

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The President thanked the Government of India, who just this week, donated 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Dominica, also commended Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who has for gifted 5000 doses of the vaccine to Antigua and Barbuda with donations to Grenada, St. Lucia, and other OECS countries, to follow.

“We are an island, but we are not isolated nor are we immune from what is happening in the rest of the region, and while we would like to see herd immunity here in Dominica, our safety will depend on herd immunity in the region, Barbados and the OECS,” Savarin remarked.

 “I believe that the efforts being made here in Dominica of the sharing of resources with the rest of the OECS will assist us in managing more effectively and efficiently this pandemic and probably in the short run create herd immunity in the OECS.”

Health Minister Dr. Irvin Mc Intyre and Parliamentary Secretary Kent Edwards were also among other officials to get the COVID-19 vaccine today as part of a roll-out of the vaccination program in Dominica.

Prime Minister Skerrit stated earlier this week that the rollout process would begin on the 22 of February; however, a memo sent from the Chief Medical Officer (AG) Dr. Laura Esprit, dated February 11, 2021, showed that the administration of the vaccination would begin today.

The memo requested that all priority groups, including health care workers, police officers, customs and immigration officers, port authority personnel, and COVID-certified taxi drivers who have already decided to take the vaccine, make themselves available for administration from 11:am to 3:00 pm today.

This process is supposed to continue in the days ahead.

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