PM promises free COVID vaccine to all Jamaicans once one is available

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PM promises free COVID vaccine to all Jamaicans once one is available

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Prime Minister and Jamaica Labour Party Leader Andrew Holness is promising that once a safe and tested COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, a Government he leads will provide it free to all Jamaicans.

Holness made the promise in a post on Twitter a short while ago as he continued to hammer a point he raised yesterday that his administration would be better at leading Jamaica through the COVID crisis after the September 3 general election.

“Unlike others, we know what to do to manage the coronavirus,” Holness said in the tweet.

Addressing journalists after he was nominated to contest the St Andrew West Central seat yesterday, Holness argued that his Administration has done a fair job in managing the pandemic so far, and was better suited to lead Jamaica through a period of living with COVID.

He charged that the People's National Party's (PNP's) performance over the years shows that it would have struggled to deal with the pandemic.

“This is my personal view, and I am not being political, but if you were to judge them on the management of chikungunya, on the management of all the other… health care events; if you were to just look at the track record of the PNP managing crisis, I worry.

“The truth is, if the PNP was managing the country during COVID it would be much worse, and nobody can question that. Their history and track record show you,” declared Holness.

Researchers around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, with more than 170 candidate vaccines now being tracked by the World Health Organization.

Vaccines normally require years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within the next 12 to 18 months.

Vaccines mimic the virus – or part of the virus they protect against – by stimulating the immune system to develop antibodies. They must follow higher safety standards than other drugs because they are given to millions of healthy people.

Just over 22 million COVID-19 cases have already been recorded worldwide with 777,000 deaths and 14 million persons recovered.

Yesterday, Jamaica recorded 17 new COVID cases to move to 1,146 since the first case was reported in the island in March. Fourteen people have died from complications related to the virus while the number of those to have recovered so far in Jamaica stands at 770.

-Arthur Hall

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