Savanna-la-Mar blitz off to a smooth startSaturday, April 10, 2021
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica— Residents were out in large numbers from as early at 7:30 am for their 9:00 am appointments today at the Savanna-la-Mar Health Centre in Westmoreland.
Fifty people were admitted per session with four different sections opened inside the vaccination centre.
Most of the patrons were in the 60 and over age group, with approximately four teachers on site.
Megan Berry, Principal of Savanna-la-Mar Primary shared with the OBSERVER ONLINE her reasons for making her decision to take the vaccine.
"I did my own research and did not listen to the propaganda and the negatives that were being shared on social media," she explained, "I want to trust those who would have done a scientific research and trust leadership and say this is something we should fight together. It is for the good of the nation why I am here today. I feel like I'm protecting others who are unwilling to protect themselves."
Others shared the same sentiment as Berry, expressing their fear to contract the virus being the greatest motivator to get vaccinated.
"I don't want to get COVID and die," Donna-Marie Robinson a teacher at New Providence Primary, stated, "the vaccine will prevent me from getting very ill. I did my own research. This is the route to return to normalcy. I need to see my children (students) face-to-face. A lot of terrible things are happening to them out there. The school is the safe haven for children... socialising them in the right way. A lot of them are not in class, they are not online. They need to get back to face-to-face."
There were no complaints and no reports of any negative reaction to the drug today. People who received the vaccine were happy to begin the process and will receive their second dose on June 19.
Despite the smooth start, some people held the view that the blitz could have been better organized.
"It could have been better organized. The number of forms that person have to complete. The age of these persons must be taken into consideration. So the level of focus is not like you and I. Give them the forms all at once. A numbering system should also be put in place. But I'm hoping for us to have more success in it," Ellen Wilson stated.
But 60-year-old Ellen Clarke of Shrewsbury in the parish, stated that she did not get the chance to register online as she did not have Internet access. She was however registered on site and was able to get her first dose of the vaccine.
"I want it," she expressed, "Because I don't want to catch COVID.
Doctor Ernesto Concepcion Pando, a Cuban doctor in charge of the Cuban medical brigade in Savanna-la-Mar comprising 37 members, including 15 doctors, expressed his pride in the vaccine administration.
"People are anxious to get it," he stated, "If we keep on administering the vaccine more persons will come on board. We are happy to be of assistance in any way we can. We must all work together to fight this. Since we started there has been no negative effects reported."
Meanwhile, Cuban teacher of Grange Hill High School, Javier Barrientos Almenarez, told OBSERVER ONLINE, "Because this is the nearest place I can get the vaccine. We don't have to wait until the COVID continue.
I trust in the doctors here, they are doing a good job. Even after I take the vaccine, I will continue taking care of myself by wearing my mask and using hand sanitizer and avoiding crowded place. I have to lead by example for my students. If teachers don't then all sorts of people will be afraid to take it."
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