SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Wednesday endorsed government’s Island-wide vaccination awareness campaign “The Drive to 85%, SXM race to normalcy”. The initiative of Minister of Public Health Omar Ottley, the objective of the campaign is to encourage at least 85% of the community to go out and get vaccinated, in efforts to achieve herd immunity.
President of the SCDF Alston Lourens and Minister Ottley met briefly on Wednesday at which time Lourens assured the Minister that the foundation will do everything it can and use its entire platform to raise awareness and push the vaccination drive.
Lourens explained that achieving herd immunity is important for the country and by extension St. Maarten Carnival. He said the foundation is resiliently planning Carnival 2022 and this means being able to fete in an environment where the island is back to some sense of normalcy. The Minister, himself a Carnival lover, expressed his appreciation to the SCDF for offering to assist in the campaign.
“Herd immunity is good for us all, it is good for booth holders, troupe leaders, band leaders, calypsonians and it is most definitely great for Jouvert. We commend the Minister for this initiative to get the country back to normal sooner rather than later. We will use our social media platforms to promote the drive and get people to go vaccinate as eager as they want to have Carnival. If folks get vaccinated there are limited risks. Fully vaccinated people among fully vaccinated people won’t result in further spread, ” Lourens said.
Many persons have been enquiring about activities that are possible economic boosters; such as music festivals and Carnival, however such events can only be considered if we achieve an 85% vaccination rate.
The campaign consists of a series with local entertainers and video producers, who will focus on the many issues that we face daily due to COVID-19. The series will inform the public on what we must do to achieve some sense of normalcy.
Minister Ottley is encouraging the community, to go out and get vaccinated.