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  • “You are the heroes [and] now I want you to become the ambassadors. Go back into your community, into your households, schools, churches [or] marketplace, and as you talk to your neighbours, encourage them to get vaccinated,” he said.
  • “Until it comes to your doorstep, then it’s not real to you. But it is real to the person who must live it every day… and you don’t live it one time; you live it over and over. So even though much of these patients aren’t close to you, you get so attached [to them] that if there’s no oxygen [for those who need it], that alone can [get the better of] you because [there’s little] you [can] do [to assist them],” she shared.
  • This is being spearheaded by the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging persons immunised against the coronavirus (COVID-19) to help in sharing accurate information about the vaccines.

“You are the heroes [and] now I want you to become the ambassadors. Go back into your community, into your households, schools, churches [or] marketplace, and as you talk to your neighbours, encourage them to get vaccinated,” he said.

Mr. Holness was addressing persons at a vaccination blitz at Braeton New Testament Church in South St. Catherine on Friday (October 8).

The location was one of three the Prime Minister visited during his Vaccine Mobilisation and Public Education Campaign tour in the parish.

The others were located at Cumberland High School in Southeast St. Catherine and Cedar Grove Academy in East Central St. Catherine.

Over 100 doses of vaccines were administered at each of the three blitz sites in St. Catherine on Friday.

Mr. Holness said during the tour, he noted that a significant number of persons remain hesitant in relation to getting vaccinated, primarily because of misinformation.

“I have not met upon any hardcore objection to vaccination; what I am really seeing is hesitancy. There’s a certain vulnerability and naivety with the deluge of misinformation, alternative facts, and fake news that people are absorbing, and that is impacting their health-seeking behaviours,” he pointed out.

Prime Minister Holness used the opportunity to dispel some of the myths regarding vaccines.

He emphasised that all citizens have received at least one vaccine in their lifetime, which proved effective against diseases such as measles, smallpox, and poliomyelitis.

“All of you would have had to be vaccinated and almost all of you who are here are still living. Vaccination is not new to Jamaica,” he underscored.

Mr. Holness, who reiterated that approximately 95 per cent of persons currently hospitalised are unvaccinated, stressed that “vaccination gives you a greater probability that if you are infected, you will not have to be hospitalised.”

A nurse, who is among the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers, indicated that she and her colleagues suffer emotionally and physically when the hospital admissions exceed capacity.

“Until it comes to your doorstep, then it’s not real to you. But it is real to the person who must live it every day… and you don’t live it one time; you live it over and over. So even though much of these patients aren’t close to you, you get so attached [to them] that if there’s no oxygen [for those who need it], that alone can [get the better of] you because [there’s little] you [can] do [to assist them],” she shared.

Medical officer with the St. Catherine Health Department, Dr. Sean Purrier, who concurred, advised that persons with comorbidities, such as hypertension, asthma, and diabetes, should not hesitate to take the vaccine.

He said screening stations are located at blitz sites, which will enable persons to have their blood and sugar levels checked before being vaccinated.

The Vaccine Mobilisation and Public Education Campaign form part of the Government’s efforts to encourage more Jamaicans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is being spearheaded by the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

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