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PAHO Director’s stark message to unvaccinated Caribbean people


(Barbados Today) The spike in COVID-19 cases in the region has alarmed the head of the Pan American Health Organisation, who warned that Caribbean nationals who do not get vaccinated are “playing with fire”, risking hospitalisation and deaths that could stall the region’s recovery.

Dr Carissa Etienne said she is also worried that as the Delta variant of the virus continues to spread at an alarming rate, putting pressure on the healthcare systems throughout the region, there is a possibility that the death toll could also rise significantly.

She said: “If we don’t get vaccinated, the population forever remains at risk even when you wear masks. We know that those public health measures have worked, but what we are seeing also is a growing fatigue with these measures.

“So, we have to make a decision as to how soon we want to come out of some of those public health measures and how soon we want to start opening up, and in particular, how soon do we want to restart our economy?

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