COVID cases continue climb as another death is recorded, but vaccination numbers give hope of achieving herd immunity

There were 74 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 for Saturday, January 15, and the country has recorded another virus-related death, bringing that total to 122.

No information has been released by the hospital about the age, gender or vaccination status of the deceased.

The active-case count is now 1,192, while the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Antigua and Barbuda is 5,815.

The Ministry of Health’s reports that the recent positive cases were realized from 244 samples processed at the hospital.  

There are 15 hospitalized cases, two severe, seven moderate and six mild, while Health officials say that 132 people recovered from the virus during this time.

Meanwhile, the country has passed the 60,000 mark for full vaccinations, with a reported total of 60,022. Those who are partially vaccinated number 3,007.

The Government is hoping to achieve its target of 75 to 80 percent vaccination in order to reach herd immunity by July.

While the vaccination numbers could be better, the Government says the country’s compliance far exceeds that of other Anglo-Caribbean states.

In the Throne Speech delivered on January 20, Governor-General Sir Rodney Williams said the “Government considers this a noteworthy achievement, which – with the agreement of only 10,000 more residents – can be translated into maximum community immunity.”

Therefore, the Administration is making a further appeal to all residents and citizens to make the COVID-19 protocols a way of life and to get vaccinated, or boosted, in accordance with the guidelines.

“This is a very important call for those who perceive themselves to be immune, as well as those of us who recognize our vulnerability,” the Governor-General said.

Sir Rodney has been a family physician for many years.  He is concerned about the large section of the population that has been diagnosed, or is struggling, with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and other metabolic conditions, and he urged them to do everything to protect themselves.