Minister sounds the alarm on anti-vaxxers Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Foreign Trade The Most Honourable Dr Jerome Walcott has identified an anti-vax trend in Barbados which could potentially be dangerous.

…it is worrying now because you see the trend of anti-vax creeping in now where parents are suggesting that their children now should not be vaccinated for other things like measles and mumps and rubella…

Speaking during a recent panel discussion hosted by the Consulate General of New York and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at the Downstate Health Science University in Brooklyn, New York, Walcott explained that Barbados’ 90 per cent immunisation rate amongst school-aged children could be in jeopardy due to the scepticism surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There is an issue that we have to address which became extremely visible certainly here and in the Caribbean, it was surprising in Barbados because for several decades we prided ourselves on having an immunisation rate of over 90 per cent as it relates to school-aged children and with the hysteria and the issues of vaccine and those who are against vaccination, we fear that this will affect us.”

The minister revealed that Government has recognised a trend of parents not vaccinating their children – not only for COVID, but also for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

“We are seeing a trend and it happened because of COVID where because of the issues with the public health sector, a number of children weren’t able to come to complete their vaccination schedule for those other diseases. And it is worrying now because you see the trend of anti-vax creeping in now where parents are suggesting that their children now should not be vaccinated for other things like measles and mumps and rubella and this is an area that we are going to have to pay tremendous attention to,” said the former general surgeon.

Walcott professed that this is worrying recognising the recent polio spike in the United States.

“Certainly,I’ve recognised that you all have been seeing cases of polio in New York and this is worrying because for years we always said that polio had been eradicated in the Caribbean.”

However, he admitted that some persons over 50 who would have received the polio vaccination back then would still be protected.

“We are now saying that there are persons over 50, like myself, that had that DPT polio tetanus back then that had that vaccination, so it gives us some protection,” he added.