Jamaica: Former Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson and Bruce Golding have joined the appeal for Jamaicans to take the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday at The Good Samaritan’s Inn.
Mr. Patterson stated that the take-up of the vaccine “would assure that our systems are strengthened to combat the COVID-19 virus.”
“I have received my vaccination. By being able to do so on the first day that the COVID vaccine programme has started, we are aiming to show to the nation that there is no reason whatsoever why people should not receive
the vaccine when it is available,” he noted.
“I would plead to all those persons, and especially those beyond age 65, to avail themselves of the first chance to get the vaccine. By doing so, they will protect themselves & offer some protection to others,” he added.
Mr. Golding, for his part, stated that the process went smoothly & also urged Jamaicans to take the vaccine as early as possible so that the country can return to normality.
“The procedure was simple, straightforward & virtually painless. It involved less stress than when you go to your doctor for an examination.
They ask you a few questions in terms of the processing. That took less than five minutes. The administration of the vaccine took less than three minutes,” Mr. Golding said.
“It was a delightful experience and I want to use this chance to really encourage all Jamaicans, as soon as the opportunity is available, to take the vaccine,” he emphasized.
Widow of late former Prime Minister, Hugh Shearer and Professor of Public Health and Ageing, University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Denise Eldemire Shearer, also received the vaccine on Wednesday.
She described the experience as “awesome.”
“The shot does not hurt and it is the start of freedom,” Dr. Eldermire Shearer said.
“It has been a year and it is time for us to get back to normal life, to exercise, etc., and this is the start,” she added.
More than 3,000 healthcare workers were targeted to receive the vaccine on Wednesday, comprising 1,930 personnel from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA); 530 from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA); 520 from the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA); and 300 from the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA).
At the end of week one, the Government intends to vaccinate 17,050 healthcare workers.
Next week, members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) & Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be vaccinated.
Notably, On Monday, March 8, Jamaica got a donation of 50,000 doses of vaccines from the Indian Government to facilitate the start of the vaccine programme.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness of Jamaica also expects some 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on or before March 11.
Extra 1.8 million doses are to be provided to Jamaica, starting in April, under the African Medical Supply platform.
The Government had shown that it has the resources to secure vaccines for some two million Jamaicans.
Ramanjot Kaur is a dedicated journalist with a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in economic and political news reporting with incisive analysis and integrity.