Trainer Lorne Kirlew gets the jab after suffering from COVID-19Friday, September 10, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
Trainer Lorne Kirlew, who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus last year, was among a number of horsemen who participated on the opening day of the three-day drive to get vaccinated at the COVID-19 vaccination site at Caymanas Park on Tuesday, September 7.
Kirlew said that he was mainly influenced by close friends to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“I came out here today [Tuesday] to take the vaccine so as to protect my industry, the racing industry. I got COVID-19 last year and it nearly caused a chaos. You know when you have the COVID-19 everybody started to stay away, they don't want to come near you. The feeling was not all that great and so this time I am protecting myself in helping to fight this virus by taking the jab.
“I think that this initiative, having a vaccine centre at the racetrack to give vaccines to the horsemen and others who live close to the track, should have been done a long time ago but it is never too late for a shower of rain. Although many horsemen are sitting and waiting before they take the jab, I am not waiting. I was encouraged by friends all over the world to take the vaccine and I think I am making the right decision to get vaccinated,” Kirlew said.
At the vaccination centre only two types of vaccines were offered — Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson — and Kirlew said that he was only eyeing the Pfizer vaccine as that was recommended to him.
“I took the Pfizer vaccine. My friends who took that vaccine before told me to work with it as it is the best option right now. I have not done much research about the Pfizer, but I went off my friends' opinions who have taken it already. My friends included nurses and doctors and so I was just comfortable going with that vaccine,” Kirlew told this publication.
The vaccination site at the park was coordinated by representatives of American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), the Ministry of Health, through the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), the horse racing promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the Diabetic Association of Jamaica, and private sector interests, including Lasco and Sanmerna. The AFJ is a charitable 501 (c) (3) organisation based in New York, which has several former US ambassadors to Jamaica within its membership.