Even though the country has fully vaccinated over 51,000 people, Prime Minister Gaston Browne is threatening additional mandates if more persons do not come forward to get vaccinated.
The Government was hoping that, by the end of this year, the country can get to herd immunity; fully reopen the economy; and remove most of the existing pandemic protocols.
But at this current pace of vaccination, it does not appear that the country will reach its target by the end of December, Browne complains.
He says, therefore, that other measures will have to be put in place – including allowing only vaccinated persons to enter Government buildings, which is already being practiced on a smaller scale.
Browne acknowledges that at least 58 percent of the population has received the first dose of an available vaccine, and he deems this to be significantly better than most countries in the region. However, he says Antigua and Barbuda can do far better.
The reduction in the rate of vaccination is of serious concern to the Government, he says.
Browne says it is unreasonable for the country to go into the New Year (2022) partially open and with a situation where thousands of people are unemployed.
Therefore, he says it is the Government’s goal to fully reopen the economy and ensure that those who are unemployed are put back to work.
This is an absolute imperative, he declares, since his Administration cannot stretch the State of Emergency any longer.