Some Westmoreland residents unmoved by vaccination appealThursday, August 19, 2021
BY DAINA DAVY
SAVANNA-LA-MAR Westmoreland — The health ministry's efforts to encourage take up of the COVID-19 vaccine did little to change Jason Hibbert's mind. The tradesman from Petersfield in Westmoreland only decided to take the jab because he thought it was a way to protect his two-year-old son.
He had heard rumours that the vaccine was a way to control people, he said, so he was afraid to get the jab.
“I was scared a little... mi did a wonder if a weh everybody did a she; if dem a try use it fi control people,” he admitted. “But when mi really look pon it, it nuh mek no sense because remember we have been getting vaccines from we small,” he added. He got his first shot last week.
Westmoreland is among the parishes to first show signs of the current third wave of the disease that has ravaged people and economies around the globe since last March.
The Jamaican Government this week ramped up its pro-vaccine message, began using mobile units to get the AstraZeneca brand vaccine into communities and announced that doses of the one-shot J&J jab and the child-friendly Pfizer vaccines were on their way. All that does not matter to Tajahney Drummond, a music video producer from Westmoreland. He still has no plans to take the vaccine any time soon, he told the Jamaica Observer on Friday.
“I don't trust it. Mi have wah fren weh used to play sports, we used to play ball every week an him tek first dose a vaccine and dead. Suh mi nuh want it,” he explained. “It too new... If down the line mi see seh it a work and people stop dead then maybe mi tek it.” The health ministry has consistently said there have been no confirmed deaths as a result of the vaccine.
Also adamant that she would not take the vaccine is Annre Lemonte. She will not allow her child to be vaccinated either, she said.
“I'm not interested in getting that vaccine. I don't trust it,” she said. “I think it should be [a] personal [choice]. If you want to take it, you take it and if you don't want to take it, you shouldn't be forced to take it.”
During his last address to the nation, when he once again tightened curfews and reinstituted previously relaxed safety protocol, Prime Minister Andrew Holness made it clear that his Government has no plans to make vaccines mandatory.