Chang urges entertainers to get 'vaxxed' and dance againMonday, August 23, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Underscoring the need for everyone to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Horace Chang is charging that the entertainment sector will remain shuttered if entertainers do not get vaccinated.
“We have to get the entertainers to accept that [vaccination is] a necessary thing. Get the vaccine and go dance again! Because, without the vaccine, they can complain till thy kingdom come, not only we can't open up fully, but we also...need more than protocols to get back to normal.
“You see what is happening in the United Kingdom, where they got to over 85 per cent vaccinated and therefore their activities are back? Football crowds are in the stadiums and concerts are rolling again. So we have to get our people to understand the need for the vaccine, and we have to get the support of all sectors,” he added.
In fact, Dr Chang, who is also the general secretary of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), argued that the executive members of the JLP have been urged to be vaccinated.
“We have encouraged all members of the party, and particular members of the executive — so the councillors and the various workers of the party — to not only take the vaccine but to encourage and get the communities out,” he said yesterday at Mount Alvernia High School, which was one of two vaccination centres in Montego Bay, St James, where children over 12 years old were inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine during a two-day blitz.
The deputy prime minister said, too, that he intends to send additional literature that outlines the urgency of vaccination to JLP members over the next couple days.
“And I am sure the People's National Party would adopt a similar approach, because this vaccine thing is a national issue and not any partisan or sectoral interest. We have seen the churches come out strongly — some of them who had doubts before — the leadership has come out and made themselves clear,” he said.
He also commended members of the business community for their level of cooperation with COVID-19 protocols suggested by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
“Vaccinate, vaccinate; first, second and third. We can do business again, we can go to church in our numbers, and they can dance freely again,” Chang urged.
The deputy prime minister, who is also a medical doctor, pointed out that, in the past, it was vaccination that successfully combated diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and poliomyelitis.
“Today we have better medicine, more doctors, better facilities, but vaccination remains the foundation we should build on, and that applied to several of the diseases we have dealt with. TB for sure, diphtheria, polio, these are things that we are used to and we have to remind people that's how we overcame those problems and that's how we are going to overcome this one. We just have to work on it, keep driving,” Chang said.
He shared yesterday that Mount Alvernia High had more than 800 people, between parents and students, who wanted to come and get the vaccine.
“So we [are] getting a very positive response, which I have to commend not only the community but also the workers who have been doing extraordinary work in St James, and really getting people out and demonstrating not only their hard work, but educating the population of the need to get vaccinated,” said Chang.