St. Vincent Prime Minister injured in vaccine protests


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was hospitalized after a protester pounded a stone during an anti-vaccine protest led by nurses and other workers in the Eastern Caribbean had thrown his head island, officials said late Thursday.

Gonsalves was bleeding profusely, but is said to be recovering, according to a statement from his office.

However, the prime minister will be flown to Barbados for further medical treatment, including an MRI scan, Finance Minister Camilo Gonsalves told parliament on Thursday, according to local media.

Authorities said Gonsalves was injured while getting out of his car and trying to get into Parliament amid a crowd of around 200 people who had blocked the entrance as they set roadblocks on fire.

“Such an act is clearly to be condemned,” said his office.

The attack was criticized by others, including Ronald Sanders, ambassador to the Organization of American States.

“This development in Caribbean politics is reprehensible,” he said.

Local media quoted Senator Julian Francis as saying an unidentified woman had been arrested. Further details were not immediately known.

The protest was organized by unions representing nurses, police and other workers who alleged the government planned to prescribe vaccines for certain employees. Gonsalves made it clear that he would not require vaccinations.

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