The territory has experienced at least three back-to-back COVID-related deaths in the last few days.
Penn pleaded with persons who can safely take the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines on hand to do so, and encouraged others who are not yet vaccinated to take the opportunity to educate themselves on issues such as the purpose of vaccinations, the risks, the benefits, its successes, herd immunity, health protocols, quarantining, and self-isolating, among other things.
The Eighth District Representative also encouraged persons to reach out to medical professionals for guidance and advice as necessary.
Penn said while the issue of vaccinating or not vaccinating might be a personal decision, proper education to support the personal decision is even more important.
The Opposition Leader said he recognised that discussions surrounding the vaccine were many and varied and debates would continue to rage on regarding the issue.
“We must also expand our education campaign and with a strong focus on the individual, if we are to make greater progress on defeating COVID-19, every citizen needs to be engaged so that we can express, learn and understand each other’s views, fears and concerns, reservations, and truths,” he stated.
According to Penn, the executive arm of government also needs to provide regular updates on the current COVID situation where medical professionals share the information in order to keep the populace reliably and properly updated.
He said one of the unintended consequences of the current COVID outbreak is a clash between business expectations and the burden placed on unvaccinated workers.
“We need not be totally divided on this issue because, in all of them, we all desire the same outcome — the preservation of lives and livelihoods,” Penn said.
He further urged employers with unvaccinated staff to “change the conversation” and help their staff navigate the difficult issues that are preventing them from vaccinating.
One way of doing this, he suggested, was by sharing stories of the many persons currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Dr D Orlando Hospital.
“Compare your staff to that of your customers just as you would not turn away a valuable, but unvaccinated customer, do not turn away a valuable employee,” Penn counselled.
Penn said there was much at stake in the current situation and said the economy needed employers and employees both, in order to remain sustainable.