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The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines has been hospitalised after getting hit in the head by a stone during a protest against a proposed vaccine mandate.
Ralph Gonsalves, 74, was passing through the crowd outside parliament in Kingstown when the attack happened. He was rushed from the scene after suffering bloody injuries.
The crowd on Thursday was protesting against the government's plans to require most frontline health workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, 74, was passing through the crowd outside parliament in Kingstown when he got hit by a projectile. Above, Gonsalves is covered in blood following the attack
In a press release, the Office of the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines said around 200 demonstrators were 'responding to a call to action from the Leader of the opposition' and 'picketed the Parliament and blocked the entrance to the building.'
'When the crowd prevented the vehicle carrying the Prime Minister from driving through the gate of the Parliament, he alighted the vehicle and attempted to enter on foot.'
'An opposition demonstrator then hurled a projectile at the Prime Minister, which struck him on the head, inches above the temple.
'The Prime Minister, bleeding profusely, was taken to the Milton Caro Memorial Hospital by his security detail, where he was met by his wife.'
In a statement to the parliament, St Vincent's finance minister Camillo Gonsalves said the prime minister has been flown to Barbados for an MRI Thursday night, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reported.
It has been reported that prime minister Gonsalves is recovering and stayed in the hospital overnight for observation.
St Vincent and the Grenadines, made up of over 32 islands, suffered from 2,298 coronavirus cases and 12 deaths since the pandemic began, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, reports the BBC.
The figures also show that at least 9% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
The vaccine unrest of Thursday happened nine months after the Prime Minister was elected to serve his fifth term.
His proposed Public Health Amendment Bill was the main reason for the protests, as it required various categories of state employees to be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine in order to work in the frontline.
In order to clear up misinformation surrounding the subject, the Prime Minister had declared on Monday that the bill 'does not involve any legal penalty or punishment on anyone who fails and/or refuses to take the vaccine or test for COVID-19', reported the Jamaica Observer.