Dr Pickering made the comments during the Sunday, April 4, 2021, edition of Real Talk with Karia J. Christopher on Flow Television and broadcasted online.
Pointing to devastation in places like Brazil where millions have been infected and thousands dead as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Dr Pickering said vaccination remains the ultimate tool.
“Brazil right now is in the midst of a major health crisis facing that country… Jamaica in the Caribbean is also facing some major challenges,” he said.
Jamaica has had more than 41 thousand confirmed cases and over 600 deaths.
“What is important to understand in the context of this particular situation that we find ourselves in this pandemic that is caused by the virus COVID-19, our only weapon against this virus is vaccination.”
He said to become vaccinated is to prevent severe illness and that is not to be confused with what treatment modalities are available.
“I’ve said in other forums when speaking… it is one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. You do not want to get COVID-19, because the results of that illness are unpredictable… it could end in death,” he said.
He said the long-term consequences of getting infected is great, as such, the vaccine will help overcome those consequences.
Meanwhile, Dr Pickering said persons in the VI should also understand the strides made with regards to fighting the pandemic locally, as just about a year ago the territory was under lockdown.
Dr Pickering said as of now he, along with several colleagues, has embarked on a personal campaign to encourage and beg persons to get vaccinated, which he said is in their best interest.
According to Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL), in a COVID-19 update on April 5, 2021, 70 percent to 80 percent of the VI being vaccinated and attaining herd immunity will make the difference for the territory.
He said so far some 8246 first doses have been administered, with 6971 on Tortola, 1118 on Virgin Gorda, 68 on Jost van Dyke and 89 on Anegada.