COVID-19 immunisation drive under way - PM wants all adults to take vaccine
Aruba, the first country in the Dutch Caribbean to begin a COVID-19 immunisation campaign, continued its vaccination drive this week, with Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes among those getting the jab to encourage more of the population to follow suit.
A batch of almost 12,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived last Tuesday, with volunteers, including community leaders and front-line workers, helping to kick off vaccinations the following day.
Arubans have access to four vaccination centres located across the island, and preregistration is required.
“My preference was to wait for my turn to get vaccinated, but seeing Aruba’s general interest, we need to stimulate our people to get vaccinated, I decided to go ahead. I hope that this will inspire others to also get their vaccination so Aruba can progress,” Wever-Croes said after she was immunised on Monday.
“We will respect if you are a person who doesn’t want to get vaccinated, but please also respect our wish to get Aruba back on its feet. Too many people are suffering at the hands of the coronavirus, and now is the time to start on the recovery of our country. Aruba is counting on you,” the prime minister added, as she urged residents to register for the vaccine via the Aruba Health app.
Minister of Finance Xiomara Maduro and Public Health Minister Dangui Oduber also got their jabs on Monday.
Aruba has recorded 71 deaths from COVID-19, the majority of those being persons over the age of 65.
“The effects of the coronavirus are especially heavy on our elderly and the vulnerable among us who suffer from a chronic disease. That is why it is important that, eventually, the entire adult population is vaccinated, to prevent [them infecting] elderly persons and people with a chronic medical condition,” Wever-Croes said.
Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport Dangui Oduber, during a recent press briefing, said the aim was to have all vaccinations done by later this year.
“There was an extraordinary scientific effort to make this vaccine available for distribution within just one year, and we are thankful that we are able to provide it for our community and start the recuperation. We are hopeful that our entire community can be vaccinated by summer 2021,” he said.
The country expects to get more vaccine doses from the Netherlands in the coming weeks.