Indigenous plan needed for vaccination take-upWednesday, October 20, 2021
The time has come for the Government to bring members of both the public and private medical fraternities together to brainstorm and devise an “indigenous Jamaican COVID-19 intervention programme” to cauterise the rapid spread of the virus.
However, this inclusive plan has to be sensitive to the grief being borne by survivors of COVID-19 victims who are not able to see their loved ones during hospitalisation or attend their funerals.
While the anti-vaxxers continue their social media campaign to dissuade Jamaicans from getting vaccinated, the Government has to come up with a plan to reach the majority of Jamaicans and to counter those negatives.
But the Government cannot do it alone. Our political leaders need to include as many of the island's medical personnel and community influencers as possible, including the Church, to get the majority of Jamaicans vaccinated so the nation can resume some level of normality.
This is extremely urgent, as we cannot afford to dump another set of gifted vaccines, as the expiry date of some of those in storage is set for the end of this month. In fact, if that were to happen, would Jamaica's inability to manage this pandemic damage the island's reputation in the eyes of the world?
While Jamaicans face death every day from the dreaded virus — as is also the case in other territories in the region — there are success stories coming from other nations globally which have implemented workable measures, indigenous to their peoples, to keep the number of affected citizens down. One such reported success story is from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 240 million, where they have recorded one death in 24 hours.
Unfortunately, there are unreported incidents of good results from early COVID-19 intervention as being managed by private doctors. I think their medical approach should be examined by the Ministry of Health & Wellness and given consideration in formulating the proposed indigenous Jamaican COVID-19 intervention programme.
I call on the Government to let good sense prevail in the interest of the nation and its people and put aside bruised egos and any feeling of demoralisation among health technocrats to save our people from permanent destruction.
Rev Dr Alvin Bailey
Chairman, Jamaica CAUSE
Presiding bishop of the Holiness Church of Jamaica