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AWP 6356: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left), engages in conversation with Nurse Monique Dwyer Brown (seated, right) during a visit to the Holy Family Primary and Infant School vaccination site in Kingston on September 8. Looking on (from left) are Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Donovan Williams; and Nurse Cynthia McDermott.
Photo: Adrian Walker

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is not currently considering making coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination mandatory.

Mr. Holness said before any consideration can be given in this regard, the Government must demonstrate that an effective public education campaign was undertaken.

“I am of the view that the current health situation does give strong justification that we should give a directive for vaccinations to be taken. But the spirit of our Constitution and laws also requires us to have a period of public education where the citizen is engaged,” he said.

“In other words, we would have to demonstrate that we have gone through all remedies and that we have done everything else, other than a mandate, to get people to be vaccinated, so that we are not just jumping over the rights of the people without them being properly informed as to why it is being done,” the Prime Minister added.

He was addressing journalists at a vaccination site at Holy Family Primary and Infant School in Kingston on September 8.

Mr. Holness said he was optimistic that the public education programme will encourage more Jamaicans to not only take the vaccine but also join the vaccination campaign.

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