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Masqueraders on stage at Victoria Park during Mardi Gras 2019. (iWN photo)
Masqueraders on stage at Victoria Park during Mardi Gras 2019. (iWN photo)
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines will only have its annual carnival this year if 70 to 80% of the adult population is vaccinated against COVID-19 by May.

Vincy Mas, the nation’s largest cultural festival, runs from June to July and was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government is yet to say whether the festival will be held this year.

“There are cultural people who come to me and ask me, ‘Comrade Ralph, are we going to have carnival?’. I say, we will have carnival in July if as we come up to the month of May that I see that we have reached a level where we can say that we have 70, 80% of the above 18 population, and maybe it may go down to 16,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Sunday.

He told the National Heroes Day wreath laying ceremony that the circumstances are different this year.

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“We didn’t have the vaccine last year around carnival,” he said.

Gonsalves has been appealing to Vincentians to get vaccinated amidst low uptake and significant hesitancy.

In Sunday’s speech, he invoked the name of national hero Joseph Chatoyer in his bid to sway the nation towards vaccination.

“… Chatoyer would have supported fully the education of our children,” he said.

Schools in SVG have not reopened for the year. And, after the pandemic was declared in March 2020, students have only returned to the classroom for the September to December term.

Classes are being held online as a result of the pandemic.

“Our children are suffering because of not being able to go to school. And we are seeing a greater divide in the educational system between those where their families are encouraging them to be online and have all the facilities and those who are not,” the prime minister said. 

“We are not going to get back to normalcy unless we have ourselves vaccinated. The science tells us so. And for those who say there are risks, the risk of not taking it, I say to those, far outweigh the taking of the vaccine.”

SVG has received about 45,000 doses of vaccine, including 40,000 doses of the Covishield (Indian) AstraZeneca from India and is hoping to put them into the arms of about 20,000 people over the next few weeks.

Gonsalves said that some persons were waiting in the hope of taking a particular COVID-19 vaccine.

“I say the best vaccine for you for COVID is the one that is available,” he said, adding that the development of a vaccine for COVID “didn’t just start last year”.

“There was an earlier SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2007 and they started to work on it from then. It’s the same family of viruses. And then there was MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2012. The process accelerated, admittedly.

“It is in the spirit of Chatoyer, in good sense and solidarity and discipline that I am urging and relying on science that you take the vaccine.”

In February, after “prayerful consideration” Gonsalves took one of 20 doses of Sputnik-V that his government had received from Russia through “an intermediary”.

“I am not just telling you that I took it and it is a personal decision, you can take it if you want. No. I’m going further than that. I took it and I’m urging you to take it.

“And knowing what I know of Chatoyer, he would have been an enlightened and scientific person today because, for him to have carried out the kinds of struggles that he carried out, he would have been an enlightened and scientific leader. I am sure that he would have been urging his people to take the vaccine.”

The prime minister said that vaccines are scarce the world over, except for rich countries.

“And we have it here and there are some persons don’t want to take it. They’re waiting.  Waiting for what? In the long run, we are all dead.

“I’m told one of the main reasons we are not taking it, there is not the urgency for us because we haven’t been in lockdown, we haven’t had the number of deaths; we have been able to hold things pretty much in good order so that there is no fear. Well, rational people do not act simply because of fear.  You act because it is the proper thing to do; it is the right thing to do,” Gonsalves said.

15 replies on “SVG to have carnival if 80% of adults take jab by May”



    I truly hope that the PM was misquoted because if he said this, I am extremely DISGUSTED!

  2. Your Body Your Choice says:

    Germany, France, Ireland, Italy & The Netherlands Ban Covid-19 Vaccine… 17 Nations Ban Covid-19 Vaccine. People are dyeing from this Antivirus Jab.

    1. They have already resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine. They are saying that the variance is less than in general population. There is so much misinformation going around you can go crazy by it.

      1. Sweden just banned Astra Z vaccines a few days ago. almost every country in Europe has banned this vaccine our government, (and equally Covid-dumb opposition), wants us to rush out and take.
        It is good to see that Vincentians are not as dumb in this case as usual.
        Many want the vaccine the elites in SVG got, and not this vaccine that causes many people to get sick and around 1% may actually die from. (smaller percent than die from the virus).
        If you want to risk your health just to make RALPH “look and feel good” then you can rush out and take your chances of being one of the people that become victims.

  3. People of SVG need to realize, it’s not about whether you think you are safe from complications, because you are young. It’s about respect for others that are at risk. It’s about restoring the tourist economy. It’s about respect. It’s about your own safety. Lord knows what would have happened if people refused polio, measles, chicken pox vaccines, just to name a few. Wake up and do the right thing.

    1. “Don’t listen to the person who has the answers; listen to the person who has the questions.” –Albert Einstein

  4. There are some that will SAY (and do,) anything to get people to take the seriously-flawed experimental vaccine that is causing havoc around the world. Those seeking to coerce us did not take that vaccine, nor do they know the long-term effects of it.

  5. No matter how much mayonaise you put in xxx, you can’t make a tuna sandwich with it. But Gonsalves is doing the right thing at least he’s saying the right thing but the way he says it is so off key it is almost laughable. Like water running uphill. This is a crisis.

    1. Fools die for want of W***** says:

      CRISIS??? You could create another crisis by not fully understanding what is at stake.

      20 Years of Failed Attempts
      Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop a Coronavirus vaccine for 20 years. All have failed in the animal testing phase due to death of the animals – all of them!3

      Skipped Trials
      Important animal trials were skipped in the development of these shots due to Operation Warp Speed…yikes.4

      Emergency Use Authorized Only
      The use of these “vaccines” is only Emergency Use Authorized, it is not FDA approved.5

      Symptom-Focus Only
      These “vaccines” have only been studied to possibly lessen the symptoms associated with COVID-19. This is data from the pharmaceutical companies’ own admission. We may want to ask, “How does one objectively determine lessening of symptoms to a disease which I have not experienced and have no previous symptoms to compare?”6

      Immunity is Not the Focus
      By getting one of the shots, you are not creating immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and you still can transmit the virus to others. Speaking at a press conference, WHO’s chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan stated there was yet to be any evidence that coronavirus vaccines were “going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on.”7

      Masks are Still Required
      After injection, you will still need to wear a mask, quarantine, and social distance. In fact, Dr. Fauci is now talking of double, and even triple masking. Are breathing fresh air and maintaining proper oxygen/CO2 balance not important? Do we understand the risk of developing bacterial infections from the exhaled toxins and moist mask environment? Even those deeply embedded in the vaccine fallacy must begin questioning motives!8

      Lack of Accountability
      Manufacturers of these shots, doctors who administer the injections, and hospitals/clinics promoting them have no liability for any damage they may cause immediately or in the future due to the PREP Act. No one is held accountable for poor outcomes!9

      The Medical Unknowns
      Your doctor may have no idea how to treat you if something goes wrong. Remember, this is an experimental synthetic mRNA biologic, and everyone in the medical field and beyond are still learning about this technology and its interaction with the human body!

      The Experimental Drugs Permanently Changes Cells
      Once inside the cell, the synthetic mRNA does not alter your DNA directly, however what it does is hijack your protein-making machinery and provides instructions to produce an S1-like spike protein that changes the surface of your infected cells. This change allows the body to produce antibodies to the synthetic S1-like protein. You will always have these antibodies, and nobody knows what this could do to your body for the rest of your life. It has not been studied. There are concerns that this synthetic protein is cross-reactive to functions in the body that are essential. So, are we also creating an antibody and autoimmunity to those essential functions? Those who get the shot are the long term study.

    1. Good raw information! I notice the media and politicians, including in SVG, have an agenda to get people to take the EXPERIMENTAL vaccine, They are NOT wanting us to have free choice. Science-educated people are against the vaccine AT THIS TIME. Too much has come out about the effects of this vaccine and all vaccines made in the last 40 to 60 years. THERE ARE NO ANTI-VAX PEOPLE, there are just pro-safety people.
      Astra vaccines are having problems all over the world. So far Kenton has not posted any of my comments stating this.
      Although, according to many, around 1% of those getting the NON-Sputnik vaccines are having complications or death, (and far less problems come from the virus itself), but, strange that the media exaggerates the severity of Covid and downplays the severity of the vaccines.

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