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One of the biggest losses from the COVID-19 pandemic this year for many was the cancellation of Carnival. But with vaccinations now underway for frontline healthcare workers and expected to expand to the rest of the population in short order, there could be the possibility of festival occurring next year- but only if there is a significant enough uptake by citizens.
Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew programme yesterday, chairman of the University of the West Indies’ COVID-19 Task Force Professor Clive Landis said he believes the event could be possible now that vaccines are here.
“You’re asking me to look into the looking glass here. My guess is that by next year you will have a Carnival. I don’t think it would be completely normal. I think there probably would still be some measures,” he told host Jessie-May Ventour.
He, however, noted that there was a correlation between how many people are vaccinated and how “normal” of an event could be had.
“If it was to be a really, completely normal one you would need to get about 85 per cent of your population vaccinated. Because then you would have complete herd immunity,” he said.
Herd immunity is the resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination. Simply put, herd immunity occurs when a significant enough portion of a population is vaccinated that there aren’t any channels for a virus to latch on and transmit.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram previously indicated the Ministry of Health is aiming to inoculate around 70 per cent of the population. The Minister of Health also previously stated they were optimistically hoping to vaccinate enough of the population to generate herd immunity by mid-2022.
During the opening ceremony for the administering of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to frontline healthcare workers on Wednesday, Minister Deyalsingh noted that there were a myriad of epidemiological factors outside of vaccination levels which would need to be taken into consideration before restrictions and public health measures are rolled back.