A startling revelation from the PMTuesday, March 23, 2021
Nationwide FM's Mr Cliff Hughes, very usefully, reported a statement yesterday from Prime Minister Mr Andrew Holness, which we regard as nothing short of startling.
The report quoted Mr Holness as saying at his COVID-19 town hall last week that the people in Jamaica who are most interested and even excited to register to take the COVID-19 vaccine are the more well off.
It is instructive to note, the prime minister contends, that those people were the most educated, informed, were least vulnerable, and had more resources to protect themselves and their families against the virus.
On the other hand, the people most resistant to the idea of taking the vaccine are the poorest people, the least educated and informed, and least able to protect themselves against the disease. They are also the most likely to fall prey to misinformation and be willing to run with conspiracy theories.
This probably explains why the anti-vaxxers or vaccine sceptics have managed to inject their wild theories and doubts with such lethal effectiveness, making victims among the people who are most in need of the vaccine to protect themselves.
They are, of course, doing great harm to this country under the guise of claiming the right of free speech and entitlement to their opinion. We urge them to consider for one moment the consequences.
“Poor youths get served last. Poor young women and men in a pandemic are the last persons you look at... they are always going to be the most socially vulnerable. As a violence expert, I would be concerned about the people who are left behind. The people who are always left behind are the ones who commit the most crimes,” sociologist Dr Herbert Gayle warned.
As we have said in this space before, the nation must spare a thought for the people who are not necessarily dumb to what the pandemic is about, or just indisciplined, though too many are. We must think of those forced to choose between COVID-19 protocol compliance and starvation.
It is worth recalling something we have said here before: “Many of those who organise parties, in clear breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act, aren't doing so to thumb their noses at the law. It should be realised that many people feel they are left with no choice but to 'hustle', using whatever means necessary to feed their families.”
People who wish to help the poor and uneducated should not make matters worse by feeding them hogwash. The work on vaccines started with the Chinese in the 18th century, but got the first big breakthrough with Mr Edward Jenner's creation of the world's first safe vaccine for smallpox in the 1790s.
The long march forward since then has been relentless, on the way defeating more than 20 life-threatening diseases, helping people of all ages to live longer, healthier lives. Immunisation currently prevents up to three million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles. There are vaccines against polio, tuberculosis, anthrax, rabies, rubella, cholera, and more.
Now, with over two million people already killed by just one disease in a year, it is time to deal with the novel coronavirus.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login