Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday says that no one forced him to take a COVID-19 vaccine and that more and more people are deciding to get the jab.
He made the point on his weekly programme on NICE Radio, on Monday, when asked to comment on the view that instead of trying to work with the opposition to address the COVID-19 crisis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the government was allocating blame.
“Everybody knows my record on this. I’ve been consistent in saying that this is the biggest problem we have in the country and we have to treat it as such,” Friday said of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the government, at one point, made light of the pandemic, “as if it was a passing shower, and to laugh and to score political points, trying to make us look as if we are stupid, we are alarmist.
“The attitude that it has inculcated in some parts of the population is that ‘You can’t trust what the government is saying. I don’t believe them because one time they’re saying this and one time they are saying that’,” Friday said on his weekly appearance on New Times.
“One thing that you can’t say with a straight face with my position is that we have not been consistent,” said Friday, whose New Democratic Party supports COVID-19 vaccination but opposes mandating the jab.
“Some people try to say, ‘Oh, well how can you say, Friday, that you are vaccinated and you’re [saying] that you can’t force people to be vaccinated?’ Well, nobody forced me to get vaccinated. That’s the point. I made that decision based on the information that was available at the time and more and more people are doing similarly.
“And they are making their journey towards that position and that’s the encouragement that government and those of us who are vaccinated can offer. But it’s not to take the superior attitude that if you are vaccinated you are better than the people who are not, that you are smarter than the people who are not,” the opposition leader said.
As of Monday, Oct. 4, 33 people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines had died of COVID-19.
Of those deaths, 21 have occurred since Sept. 9.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 3,776 cases of COVID-19 and 2,522 recoveries have been recorded since March 2020. There are 1,221 active cases in the country.
According to the most recent vaccination data, as of Sept. 30, 34,149 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in SVG, representing 20,661 first doses and 13,488 second doses.