Tobago hotel association welcomes accelerated vaccination programme


Tobago’s economy, which depends primarily of both domestic and foreign tourism, has been badly affected during the pandemic. – Photo by David Reid

Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA) vice-president Carol-Ann Birchwood-James has welcomed the Government’s announcement that there will be an acceleration of the national covid19 vaccination programme in the coming weeks.

At a news conference on Saturday at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, the Prime Minister announced that within six to eight weeks, the country will receive a significant number of vaccines.

He said the Government had made two significant purchases which will expedite the vaccination process.

Dr Rowley also announced that Grenada has also agreed to give this country 10,000 doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine to augment the existing supply.

Birchwood-James told Sunday Newsday mass vaccinations will give citizens a fighting chance of surviving covid19.

“Mass vaccinations is the way out. All your further restrictions will only make people get more vexed and frustrated,” she said.

But Birchwood-James expressed serious concerns about the timeframe within which the accelerated rollout is expected to begin.

“We have increasing numbers. Now is the time for us to have our mass vaccinations.”

She said the Government should aim to vaccinate at least 35,000 people in Tobago, half of the population.

Birchwood-James said this would facilitate a return to economic activity on the island.

“The borders could be opened and the airlines could come back to bring the Europeans, who have been our main people.”

Birchwood-James reiterated hoteliers, businessman and average citizens in Tobago are suffering.

“My hoteliers are suffering. Everybody is more or less closed. Their workers are suffering as well. None of us have money.

“So, this vaccination exercise must be accelerated.

We have to have herd immunity, especially for Tobago.”

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