COVID-19 vaccine incentive or bribe?Friday, June 11, 2021
No one can deny that the ruling party is quite adept at excellent public relations campaigns. We saw its prowess during the 2016 and 2020 election campaigns. Therefore, it is a bit surprising to see the glaring missteps in the current COVID-19 vaccination programme.
In recent media reports it was noted that individuals 60 years and older who have been fully vaccinated can apply for a $10,000 grant from the Government. The Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced this development in Parliament on Tuesday, June 8.
For some of us looking on, we immediately know that this approach is seriously flawed and may have the opposite effect. The question being asked on the street is: Why should I be given money to take something that is beneficial to me? A move like this is not going to move the needle all that much.
The Government of Jamaica needs to analyse why, after a three-month intensive campaign, only two per cent of the over 60s have been vaccinated. Could it be that they have legitimate questions about the vaccine?
Some of the questions the targeted population may have include:
1) Do I still need to take the vaccine if I have had COVID-19 already?
2) How long does the vaccine efficacy last? Will I need a booster shot in the next six months?
3) Are there some people who may be considered at risk for taking the vaccine?
4) There are countries that have banned the use of AstraZeneca. Can we talk about why these countries have taken this step?
5) There are reports from other countries about the effectiveness of Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in fighting COVID-19. What is preventing us from utilising these medication?
Jamaicans are thinking and intelligent individuals. So, instead of throwing money at a problem, perhaps an in-depth dialogue is required as, depending on who you speak with, the $10,000 grant is either an incentive or a bribe.
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