August 15, 2021 Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Saturday urged citizens to stop playing “Russian roulette” with their health, appealing to them to get vaccinated as Trinidad and Tobago health authorities seek to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Rowley told the weekly news conference here that his administration had secured more than a million doses of various vaccines and now has in hand, 800,083 doses available for the population to take in order to prevent them dying or getting sick as a result of the virus.
But he said he was “disappointed” at the response of some people, even those from the religious pulpit, in pushing anti-vaccine propaganda.
“In our population, I must say I am disappointed that now that the vaccines are available the issue now is everything else except vaccine not being available.
“One, the vaccine don’t meet your taste, two, the vaccine don’t meet your brand, three and I must also say, in a pandemic as Prime Minister I claim the right to speak this way. You see these people from pulpits who telling people there are something religious and wrong with the vaccines, stop misleading the population of Trinidad and Tobago.
“We are all children of God and we are all familiar with the Bible, the Gita, and the Koran and our population, its leaders have shown responsibility in asking the population to do what our health department has said to save our lives and protect our economy and everything else we have to protect, so let’s ease up on that,” Rowley said.
Rowley said he was also disappointed that only 50 percent of the nursing staff had accepted the vaccines, saying “ I am a little taken aback that vaccines being available, even choice and brands and we only have an uptake of about 50 percent.
“Of course you know there are other conversations that will flow from that,” he said, noting that in the prison where the virus has every opportunity of spreading much faster than anywhere else, only 20 percent of inmates had been vaccinated.
Rowley said he was tasking the National Security Minister in ensuring a reversal of that situation.
During the news conference, Rowley reminded the population that hospitals could only accommodate a certain amount of people and urged those who are still against getting vaccinated to think of the problems that would arise should they seek proper medical care.