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Daily Express

Coronavirus latest: Two risk factors for catching Covid post-vaccination – study finding

Daily Express
Daily Express

Ben Claxton

Whilst approved vaccines have demonstrated their effectiveness in clinical trials and global data, they are not a 100 percent shield when coming into contact with COVID-19. According to, Adeel A. Butt, professor of medicine at Weill Medical College, real-world studies confirm that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 95 percent effective in preventing infection after two doses.

The study, published in MedRxiv, identifies risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection at least 14 days after first vaccination and outlines characteristics of post-vaccination disease.

The King’s College London team looked at adults from the UK who had reported post-vaccination coronavirus infection between 8th December 2020 and 1st May 2021 via the COVID Symptom Study app.

By assessing the demographics of age, frailty, lifestyle factors and geographical locations with infection, the researchers revealed that “post-vaccination infection risk was substantially higher in older adults with frailty and in individuals living in most deprived areas.”

Risk was found to be lower in individuals with a healthy diet and without obesity.

READ MORE: Bowel cancer symptoms: The ‘sensation’ when having a poo – sign

Older people and those in deprived areas most at risk
© Getty Images
Older people and those in deprived areas most at risk

Professor Penny Ward, visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, said of the research: “This report is one of the first to provide information on breakthrough cases of COVID detected post-vaccination drawn from the 4.5million respondents that provide daily data using the COVID Symptom Study app.”

Ward alluded to the fact that the app is a self-reporting tool, meaning that the data provided was not always daily, with a relative excess of female participants, so it is not completely representative of the UK.

On this, Ward said this does “not detract from the usefulness of the information provided, and we know from past experience that information provided by this group can be very helpful in providing early insight into public health policies.”

“In this case, the information provided is helpful in understanding the potential need for booster vaccinations in a proportion of the frail elderly as we approach winter,” Ward explained.

DON’T MISS: Where you live in England may determine your risk of dying from Covid – new study [STUDY]Vitamin B12 deficiency: Three symptoms that can lead to nerve damage – what to look for [EXPERT]Cutting down on calories can boost longevity – but how much should you cut back? Study [STUDY]

Other findings in the study concluded:

  • Vaccination was associated with reduced odds of hospitalisation and high acute-symptom burden.
  • In the 60+ age group, the risk of more than 28 days illness was lower following vaccination.
  • Most symptoms were reported less in positive-vaccinated vs. positive-unvaccinated individuals, except sneezing, which was more common post-vaccination.

The research team found that their discoveries call attention to the reduced symptom burden and duration in people infected in post-vaccination.

Whilst the research is reassuring, the team said that the paper’s data should also prompt efforts to boost vaccine effectiveness in at-risk populations.

risk factors for catching covid after vaccination
© Getty Images
risk factors for catching covid after vaccination

Furthermore, the team also suggested that targeting infection control measures will still be an appropriate way to minimise COVID-19 infections.

Persistent symptoms lasting more than 28 days were not much affected in cases occurring after a single dose of vaccine, but the incidence was in fact halved (from 11.4 to 5.2 percent) among the double vaccinated.

According to War, this suggests “for the first time that vaccination can protect against Long Covid both by preventing infection and then ameliorating illness experienced following breakthrough infection.”

Regrettably, the study did not contain information on illness associated with different variants, and the duration of the study (Dec 2020 to early July 2021) covered the alpha and early delta variant waves in the UK, Ward explained.

Vaccine effectiveness
© Daily Express
Vaccine effectiveness

Long Covid is assessed in the study by analysing the proportion of cases with symptoms persisting for more than 28 days.

However Long Covid is still poorly understood and the persistence of symptoms post-infection, and their severity, remains to be explored.

However, Ward insists that it is “encouraging that the overall proportion of cases with persistent symptoms is reduced in patients that were previously fully vaccinated, which taken together with the milder overall illness and reduction in the need for hospital care demonstrates the additional worth of vaccination in reducing the severity of illness for individuals and reducing the burden on the NHS by lowering the number of people needing hospital care.”

While the study is unable to draw robust conclusions such as “fully vaccinated people are almost twice as likely to have no symptoms than unvaccinated if they catch COVID-19” as the app is not completely representative of the UK, one can gain insightful results as to who is most at risk of COVID-19 post-vaccination.

Posted in CARICOM, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Pregnancy and the Shot

Stop the Shot – Pregnancy and Fertility Risks – Truth for Health Foundation << . . .

There were no data evaluating the long-term impact on pregnancy or fertility submitted to or reviewed by the FDA in the data packages that served as the basis for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the COVID shots.  No pregnant women were included among the patient groups studied in the clinical trials which supported EUA (FDA, Office of Chief Scientist, 2021).  The VAERS database 1 contains over 16,000 adverse event reports following receipt of the COVID shots with impact on pregnancy 2 as of August 6, 2021. . . . . A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Shimabukuro, et al., 2021) alleged no “…obvious safety signals among pregnant persons who receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.” Critical re-analysis of the data presented in the same article shows the actual spontaneous miscarriage rate to be closer to 82% for women vaccinated in the 1st or 2nd trimester of pregnancy (Blumrick, 2021). >> There’s your over half, I rounded down Zelenko’s testimony before the Rabbinical Court.

Posted in CARICOM, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments


Failing the “horse de-wormer” test

Contribution – 124/21 # 17)

Is Ivermectin simply an anti-parasitic for animals that is being misused due to anti-vax propaganda?

Ivermectin paste, veterinary formulation for de-worming horses. Notice, the other ingredients.

BRADES, Montserrat, September 6, 2021 – Indeed, Ivermectin is often used to de-worm horses, dogs, etc, and as an antiparasitic. That is the germ of truth that has been used to lend credibility to a smear job, [yes], that ignorant people following unscientific anti-vax misinformation are dosing themselves with a useless, toxic medicine intended for animals. It is even true that some desperate people have indeed apparently taken horse-sized doses of veterinary formulations, obviously without a doctor’s supervision. For, a horse might weigh 1,200 lbs, a big person perhaps 250. So, a horse-sized dose would then be maybe four or more times that for a human being and could easily have toxic effects.  But, that’s not even near to being the whole story.

And the push to suggest that it is, is instead a truth test that far too many are failing.

Ivermectin paste, veterinary formulation for de-worming horses. Notice, the other ingredients.
A Cartoon used to promote the notion that Ivermectin is a misused de-wormer for horses (and yes, this is apple flavour here)

First, those who promote or publish the atrocity tale in the media. As, there is the readily accessed ¾ of the story that could easily have been found, starting with its Nobel Prize-winning role in dealing with human river blindness. Yes, Ivermectin has been used successfully and safely with people (under medical supervision) for over thirty years. 

Failure to acknowledge that is without excuse for any significant media house, official, or spokesperson.

Second, if we fail to take a critically aware view of such voices, ironically, we are in danger of swallowing or even spreading misinformation ourselves.

In either case, credibility is broken.

We can also provide facts from relevant scientific literature. For example, as Dr. Pierre Kory and others note in a 2021 American Journal of Therapeutics article[1]:

“Ivermectin [was] introduced as a veterinary drug [in the early 1980s] . . .  it soon made historic impacts in human health, improving the nutrition, general health, and well-being of billions of people worldwide ever since it was first used to treat onchocerciasis (river blindness) in humans in 1988 . . . Ivermectin’s impacts in controlling onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, diseases which blighted the lives of billions of the poor and disadvantaged throughout the tropics, is why its discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 and the reason for its inclusion on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘List of Essential Medicines.’ ”

In a 2020 [Nature] Journal of Antibiotics article,[2] Fatemeh Heidary and Reza Gharebaghi add:

“Studies revealed that ivermectin as a broad-spectrum drug with high lipid [ = fat] solubility possesses numerous effects on parasites, [1, 3] nematodes, arthropods, flavivirus, mycobacteria, and mammals through a variety of mechanisms. In addition to having antiparasitic and antiviral effects, this drug also causes immunomodulation in the host. Studies have shown its effect on inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells, as well as regulating glucose and cholesterol in animals.” [Pardon the technical language.]

That is why Ivermectin was a reasonable drug to test as a possible repurposed treatment for effectiveness against Covid-19. As we have already seen here at TMR, it is credibly effective, which is why leading Doctors in Jamaica publicly advised their Minister of Health[3]:

“[w]hile Ivermectin[‘s] efficacy has been demonstrated in the management of all stages of Covid, we draw particular attention to its use in the early stage of the disease . . . In our carefully considered opinion, the available data on Ivermectin is quite adequate.[4] There is no need to await the outcome of further trials. Any call for local trials prior to approval is unnecessary, as neither time, resources, nor ethical approval would permit. We need not await WHO approval of the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19. The WHO, unfortunately, has been slow, and sometimes incorrect, in its assessment and advice on various aspects of the pandemic and specifically so in relation to its current stance on Ivermectin. Several medical jurisdictions in various countries are proceeding to include Ivermectin in their Covid-19 treatment strategies.”

A summary of such evidence has been made by Dr. Kory and others.[5] Reportedly, Ivermectin:

 – inhibits the replication of many viruses, including influenza, Zika, Dengue, and others

 – inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication and binding to host tissue

 – has potent anti-inflammatory properties

 – significantly diminishes viral load and protects against organ damage in multiple animal models

– prevents transmission and development of COVID-19 disease in those exposed to infected patients

 – hastens recovery and prevents deterioration in patients with mild to moderate disease treated early

 – hastens recovery and avoidance of ICU admission and death in hospitalized patients

– reduces mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19

– leads to striking reductions in case-fatality rates in regions with widespread use

 safety, availability, and [low] cost . . .  is nearly unparalleled

– near nil drug interactions along with only mild and rare side effects observed in almost 40 years of use and billions of doses administered

There is a fair amount of published evidence for that [see the report], there is a growing body of cases and studies, and there are population-level results. No wonder the Jamaican Doctors make a pointed contrast:

“Emergency Use Approval has been granted from health regulatory authorities, including WHO, and FDA, for the clinical use of other treatment regimes (Remdesivir, Convalescent Plasma, Monoclonal Antibodies, etc.) with far less research and data support compared with Ivermectin.”

A Cartoon used to promote the notion that Ivermectin is a misused de-wormer for horses (and yes, this is apple flavour here)

[1] See

[2] See

[3] TMR cf Gleaner 

[4] TMR note, e.g. see 

[5] See pp. 3 – 4

Posted in Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Featured, Health, International, Local, News, OECS, Opinions, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments


British American Insurance Co. Ltd. – BACOL – (update)

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BACOL speaks – Are you a policyholder? It’s about British American Insurance Co. Ltd.

Watch and be guided:

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BACOL – Justice within reach

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BACOL Announces Launch of Judicial Campaign for Financial Justice for OECS BRITISH AMERICAN (BAICO) POLICYHOLDERS

British American Insurance Company Limited and Colonial Life Insurance Company Limited Policy Holders Group (BACOL)

BACOL is inviting Policyholders of the collapsed British American Insurance Company Ltd (BAICO) to register and be a part of a lawsuit that will be presented to the CCJ. Many of these policyholders (particularly in the OECS) have lost their entire life savings and BACOL is seeking fair and just financial compensation.

A Zoom town hall meeting for Policyholders in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Montserrat is scheduled for Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 6.30 pm.

The following release precedes this zoom meeting:

St. George, Grenada.
July 28th, 2021


  • Legal Action filed at Caribbean Court of Justice
  • Compensation sought from Trinidad and Tobago
  • Legal Action taken on behalf of Policyholders in OECS Countries
  • Treaty of Chaguaramas cited as basis of lawsuit.

BACOL will host an online town hall meeting today Thursday, July 29th at 6:30 p.m. to apprise policyholders of the legal action at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), seeking fair and equitable compensation for all policyholders of the collapsed British American Insurance Company Ltd (BAICO), and their beneficiaries.

Tonight’s town hall meeting will be addressed by BACOL President, Dr. Patrick Antoine, and the legal team, comprised of Mr. Simon Davenport, Q.C., and Mr. Gregory Pantin.

Registration of policyholders wishing to join the class action is already underway.  Policyholders in Montserrat may register with Kharl Markham of the firm Allen Markham and Associates.

The quest for financial justice for Policyholders of BAICO began, with the filing of a legal action at the Caribbean Court of Justice on July 13th, 2021, in pursuit of fair and equitable compensation from the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

BACOL, on behalf of its members, has caused the jurisdiction of the CCJ to be invoked, with a view to receiving full compensation on par with that awarded to British American Policyholders from Trinidad and Tobago.

The filing of the lawsuit is a culmination of painstaking work, and a long journey that began with the formation of BACOL, after it emerged that following the collapse of the insurance company, British American policyholders in the OECS would not be offered compensation on par with that awarded to policyholders from Trinidad and Tobago.

BACOL is inviting Policyholders of the collapsed British American Insurance Company Ltd (BAICO) to register and be a part of a lawsuit that will be presented to the CCJ. Many of these policyholders (particularly in the OECS) have lost their entire life savings and BACOL is seeking fair and just financial compensation.

A Zoom town hall meeting for Policyholders in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Montserrat is scheduled for Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 6.30 pm.

For further information: Call (WhatsApp only) +1 784 491-2813 (SVG), +1 473 405-2225 (Grenada), +1 868 291-4082 (Trinidad & Tobago) or visit

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CARICOM – Staff Vacancies

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts – thousands evacuate

by Bennette Roach

This is La Soufriere, St. Vincent – may remind of Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent is home to La Soufrière erupted beginning at about 8.30 a.m. “Four days shy of its anniversary on the second Friday on April 9, 2021, in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Later, what University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists called an “explosive eruption,” reportedly sent plumes over 100,000 feet.

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados, as seen from a photo on the front page.

Throughout the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened,

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, very well known and remembered having worked for long stints in Montserrat, eventually heading the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang.

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1.00 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere,

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had fallen at Argyle International Airport.

The island had been preparing for the eruption, but not the magnitude of it. Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, Ralph Gonsalves @ComradeRalph  said:

I have issued an evacuation order to all residents living in the RED ZONES on the North East and the North West of the island. All residents are asked to act accordingly with immediate effect to ensure their safety and that of their families.

The Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.

Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or going to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were canceled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

The La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

Response was immediate from the region

CARICOM governments and especially OECS governments immediately responded to these eruptions by sending and offering assistance to the stricken 16,000 populated area immediately affected by the continuing explosions and eruptive events.

The “Stronger Together Campaign

OECS Commission Launches “Stronger Together Campaign”

The OECS launched the  “Stronger Together Campaign” an Emergency Response for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines” is an initiative organized by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission relative to a coordinated approach to assist with relief and recovery efforts on behalf of our Member State, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Donations are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally. All funds (100%) raised via this campaign will be directly transferred to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There is no limit on the value of pledges and contributions. Pledges are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally.

Montserrat had earlier sent one of its MVO scientists in the leadup to the eruption. Christopher Thomas joined other UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists who included Richard (Richie) Robertson with he worked here in Montserrat, for the team that monitored the volcano up to its eruption and after.

Government of Montserrat Officials at Warehouse with Supplies for St. Vincent & the Grenadines

On April 28, 2021 GIU release advised “The Government of Montserrat will deploy a shipment of emergency relief supplies to help address the immediate needs of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines affected by the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano.

It informed further: “Twelve pallets of relief supplies from Montserrat’s emergency stockpile containing 7,200- N95 masks, 400 blankets, 200 cots, 140 helmets, water pump and accessories, eight folding tables and push-brooms, will be shipped on April 29, 2021. These were to be collected by the vessel MV Promise Kept to arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines the following day, Friday, April 30, 2021.

The relief supplies from the national emergency stockpile managed by the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), are designed to meet the basic needs of residents staying in Emergency Shelters, overseen by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The move was a follow-up to the GoM’s April 12 announcement that Montserrat will donate humanitarian supplies, contribute $150,000.00 (US$55,555), and establish a local team to provide support to the people of the volcano stricken islands.

Other islands as reported from OECS headquarters

The Government of Grenada will provide $1 million in support for the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to help deal with the impact of the explosive eruptions at the La Soufriere volcano.

Grenada initially pledged to accept hundreds of Vincentian evacuees if they opted for relocation and immediately began making arrangements to do so, in collaboration with St. George’s University. Meanwhile, preparations continue to be made to host evacuees in the event that persons decide to take advantage of the opportunity.

These items include drinking water, water tanks, collapsible water bladders, buckets, portable toilets, sleeping mats, field tents, respirator masks with filters, hygiene kits, disinfectants, and sanitisers.

As the volcanic disaster in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines continues to unfold, regional solidarity is once again at the forefront of relief efforts.

Antigua and Barbuda

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda was among the first and began its response efforts on Thursday, April 8, 2021 after Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne consulted with his counterpart in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonzalves.  It was at this juncture that Antigua and Barbuda agreed to accept 250 Vincentian evacuees who would be accommodated at the Jolly Beach Hotel. The gesture was part of a wider regional response to the developing situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

In addition to accommodation, the GoA extended support and services to evacuees.  While in Antigua, the Ministry of Health will provide medical support; the Transport Board will provide the necessary transportation for official movement; the Ministry of Education will facilitate the education of students; the security forces will provide security as necessary for the well-being of all, and the Ministry of Works will assist with physical security if necessary.

Donations from corporate and civic organizations as well as the national warehouse in Antigua and Barbuda were coordinated through the National Office of Disaster Services.  So far, support has been received from Mega Distributors, the Lion’s Club, Best Buy, the Rotary Club of Antigua, Premier Beverages, GCS Bottling Services Ltd, and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross. These donations, which included water, water tanks, housing supplies, personal care items, mosquito nets, generators, lanterns, flashlights, and relief kits, were shipped in a 20-foot container on April 12, 2021.

World Bank

The World Bank disbursed US$20 million to support the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.

The explosive eruption began on April 8 and has required the evacuation of 20,000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of Saint Vincent and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.

The funds are disbursed from a contingent credit line from the World Bank, known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020.


The Government and people of Dominica continue to stand in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and reiterates the support of all Dominicans during the volcanic crisis unfolding on the island, Prime Minister Skerrit said.

Following an eruptive event of ash flow

Before April 12 he conversed with Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and offered support to assist with the evacuation of residents during this natural disaster as the Government worked to confirm logistics and make preparations for the accommodation of a group of Vincentians for a period of up to five months.

All local partners and international organizations on the island are collaborating with the Government and a national response is being finalized.

He said also ‘the expressions of concern and outpouring of support for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been exceptional and reflects the kindness and brotherhood we are known for.’

St Lucia sends assists with transporting stranded OECS workers from St. Vincent

Meanwhile, St. Lucia on the receiving end of ashfall assisted with 139 Stranded Agricultural Workers in the wake of the La Soufriere Volcano explosion. They were farmworkers en route to Canada were part of the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme.

It was reported already that Dominicans have reached out and offered assistance to house individuals who need to be evacuated from St. Vincent. In this regard, a special hotline was established for the general public to offer support for housing or other areas of assistance.

The agricultural workers, 95 Vincentians, 18 Saint Lucians, and 23 Grenadians, were en route to Canada for employment on the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme when their flight from St. Vincent to Canada was canceled. The workers arrived via the Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” on Saturday morning and remained in Saint Lucia for a few days until they were able to board a flight to Canada.

Grenada sends personnel and other support to St Vincent

While wreaking havoc on the lives of residents, many of whom had to evacuate the northern part of the island categorised as the Red Zone, the entire population continued to cope with a myriad of issues, from the destruction of property, livestock, and crops, the presence of volcanic ash which is dangerous to human health, disruptions in telecommunications services to contaminated water supplies. To this end, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) came to the aid of the people of St. Vincent with a donation of bottled water.

La Soufrière Eruption – ECTEL Sends Water to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

ECTEL’s Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Millet learned of the urgent need for water.  He said, “ECTEL stands in solidarity with the people…We cannot begin to comprehend the distress they must be feeling, having to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, and now this natural phenomenon.”  The matter of further assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was discussed at the 41st Meeting of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers, the result being a donation of 24 pallets of water departed Saint Lucia on Wednesday, April 14, and arrived in St. Vincent on Friday, April 16. 

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Environment, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Volcano, Volcano0 Comments

Illustration of a dollar bill being pinned to a darts board by a vaccination syringe.

Ohio’s $1 million Covid vaccine lottery is bribery at its best Going without a mask isn’t enough incentive? How about $1 million?

Illustration of a dollar bill being pinned to a darts board by a vaccination syringe.
Shots for scratch! Medicine for moolah! Covid immunity for prizes and money! Chelsea Stahl / MSNBC

– May 14, 2021, By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Columnist

The best reason to get Covid-19 vaccine shots is, of course, to not have yourself, your loved ones, or your neighbors get infected and potentially die from a virus that has killed almost 600,000 people in the U.S. But $1 million is a pretty good runner-up, I have to say.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced the “Vax-a-Million” program. Starting May 26, a random Ohioan will be drawn weekly from the Ohio secretary of state’s voter registration database to get $1 million — so long as they’re vaccinated. Another five 12- to 17 year-olds will get the chance to sign up for a possible full-ride scholarship to a state college or university, again provided they’re vaccinated.

Ohio governor: Get vaccinated, win a million dollars

MAY 13, 202101:46

As a former resident of Michigan, I’m loath to say anything positive about the state’s southern neighbor. But this is actually a pretty genius idea from the Ohio government, especially given that “the Ohio Lottery will conduct the drawings but the money will come from existing federal coronavirus relief funds,” as The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Absent a decent stick — aside from, you know, the risk of dying from a virus — we’ve been forced to find carrots to convince the masses.

Daily vaccination rates have plummeted even as more and more people have become eligible to get their shots. It’s entirely possible that news that people who are fully vaccinated can go about their lives sans masks may change that and get folks who’ve been waiting to go in to see the local stabmonger.

But we’ve been hoping that more education will bring down hesitancy for months now. And while that may be the case among some demographics, others still stubbornly refuse to get vaccinated — looking at you, white Republican men. The Biden administration has so far ruled out any sort of penalty for people who aren’t vaccinated; the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t approved any of the vaccines yet — it has only authorized them for emergency use, which isn’t the same.

More from MSNBC Daily

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Why it sure looks like DOJ weaponized subpoenas to target Trump enemies

Barbara McQuade

Why conservatives would be the saddest to see Facebook go

Hayes Brown

Absent a decent stick — aside from, you know, the risk of dying from a virus — we’ve been forced to find carrots to convince the masses. That has included encouraging selfies to handing out stickers to what we’re seeing in Ohio now. So it may seem desperate at this point, but I can’t be mad at any and all efforts to get people vaccinated.

Fauci weighs in on CDC’s new mask guidance for fully vaccinated

MAY 14, 202103:05

It might not even take the full million bucks to sway people. Polling backs up the idea that offering smaller amounts of cold, hard cash could make a difference. UCLA’s Covid-19 Health and Politics Project asked over 7,000 people who had yet to be vaccinated whether they’d be more likely to do so if they were paid for it. Thirty-four percent of respondents said $100 would make them more likely to make appointments; 31 percent said 50 bucks would do the trick.

So while Ohio has the highest potential payout, other states have been reaching out to people through their wallets. After a wildly successful rollout, West Virginia’s lagging numbers prompted Gov. Jim Justice to propose giving $100 savings bonds to residents ages 16 to 35 who get vaccinated. (They’re still working on how to deliver those bonds to the newly vaccinated.) As in Ohio, that money would come from federal Covid-19 funds already sent to the state.

How West Virginia health officials are battling Covid vaccine hesitancy

It’s not just money on offer. In Chicago, the city will have a series of free concerts that will be open only to people who can prove they’re fully vaccinated. A hospital group in Alaska is giving away prizes, including airline tickets and money toward the purchase of an ATV. Here in New York City, Shake Shack is offering free fries when you buy a sandwich and flash your vaccination card. Krispy Kreme’s decision to offer free donuts to the vaccinated set off a whole round of discourse about whether the company was encouraging obesity. (It wasn’t, and the fatphobia was rightly shouted down.)

My favorite bribery scheme so far? Beer. In New Jersey, participating breweries will provide a free beer if you show your proof of vaccination as part of the state government’s “Shot and a Beer” program. (Get it? It’s a pun.) It’s a better name than Erie County, New York’s “Shot and a Chaser” program — but the latter is the best anecdotal evidence we have so far that these programs can get results, especially if you offer the shots at the brewery, too.

Are there arguments against bribing the masses to go get their shots? Sure. Back in January, when the vaccines were first being rolled out, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association argued that proposals to pay people up to $1,500 for getting vaccinated were a waste of funds and morally questionable and that they might even backfire.

In a climate characterized by widespread distrust of government and a propensity to endorse conspiracy theories, those who are already COVID-19 vaccine-hesitant might perceive that the government would not be willing to pay people to get vaccinated if the available vaccines were truly safe and effective. Incentive payments might also stoke new fears and, perversely, increase resistance to vaccination.

It’s a well-reasoned set of concerns. But the article ends by noting that a “policy of paying people for Covid-19 vaccination should be adopted only as a last resort if voluntary vaccine uptake proves insufficient to promote herd immunity within a reasonable period of time.”

That sounds a lot like, well, now. That means that if you’re reading this in Ohio, good luck getting a windfall for doing the right thing. I’m rooting for you. It may be the only time I root for someone from Ohio, so savor this moment.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Court, COVID-19, Crime, Education, Health, International, Legal, OECS, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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