Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that he has not been adversely affected by his COVID-19 infection and called on the public, including teachers dismissed over their failure to take the jab, to get vaccinated.
He reminded the public that they could contract COVID-19
“I am testimony to that,” said the 75-year-old leader who has said that he has taken five COVID-19 shots in just over a year.
“Secondly, take the vaccine because when you have the vaccine, if you get COVID, the effect is likely to not be as severe as if you don’t take the vaccine.”
He said that “other than a little sniffle” he did not have any of the other complaints normally associated with COVID.
“… or any problem swift my taste buds and so on and so on,” Gonsalves said on radio on Friday, one day after his office announced that he had tested positive for the virus.
“I want to speak from my own experience, both to be careful and also to take the vaccine.
“For those who say, ‘Well Ralph take the vaccine and boosters and still get COVID, well, the vaccine was never 100% foolproof,” Gonsalves said.
“Nobody ever said that. What they said is that it decreases the risk of the transmission and also if you get it, you’re not likely to get it as terrible as if you didn’t take the vaccine.
“The evidence is there in abundance.
“So that’s the first point I want to make this morning. Because I know there’ll be a lot of events with people enjoying themselves. I’m just reminding them, be careful, remember the protocols.”
The prime minister said that as the school term finishes, teachers who refused to take a COVID-19 and were dismissed should get vaccinated so as to allow them to return to the classroom.
“How you going to go and talk to people’s children during the COVID pandemic still without being vaccinated? Come on! Come on! Let’s be reasonable,” Gonsalves said.
The prime minister said he has been pleading about this.
“And the funny thing is, they are saying I am pig-headed and arrogant but I am concerned about the safety of the children, the health and safety.
“You see, some people can be so self-opinionated and only about themselves and don’t think broadly about our society,” he said, adding that he had written and spoken about this.
“And these are questions which the vast majority of people have answered as social individuals, not as the atomised individuals, not as individuals by themselves.
“You’re part of a society. So, I am pleading again, please take the vaccine and specifically here now, those teachers or anybody else … the frontlines categories…”
The officer of the prime minister has said that Gonsalves will work from home until Monday.