With the country in the early stages of a third wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is again appealing for Jamaicans to take the vaccine once it becomes available to them.
He warned that the country’s unvaccinated population “could become the foundation on which the third wave [is] carried”.
“Therefore, I think every single Jamaican, when the opportunity comes, when your time comes, you should do what is in your best interest, what is in your parents’ and grandparents’ best interest, and what is in the interest of the country, in the interest of your children to return to school. Take the vaccine,” he implored.
He noted that even if persons who have been vaccinated contract COVID-19 they will not suffer the worst effects of the virus.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing a virtual press conference on Monday (July 26), pointed out that “this virus intends to stick around,” stressing that the only way it will “go away” is if a large percentage of the population, at least 65 per cent, is inoculated against the disease.
“This is serious now. We recognise the psychological strain, the emotional strain. We heard the cries. We tried to give a little relief, but this pandemic, this virus is serious and I can only appeal to the good sense and reason of the people of Jamaica,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the only way to avoid spikes during this new wave is for “every single Jamaican to take personal responsibility… and to exercise extreme care, caution and diligence in observing the established safety protocols”.
“Each and every Jamaican needs to take great care and precaution. We can’t over-emphasise this – the virus is not a respecter of anyone. You can get infected, whether you are at a party or in church or at school or at work, in the bus, in your private vehicle with passengers , playing football with friends, or at the beach. Anywhere that human beings gather, the potential for infection exists,” he noted.
He reminded citizens that apart from vaccination, persons must also maintain the health and safety protocols, which include, “wearing your mask; maintaining physical distance; sanitising your hands regularly; if you are ill, stay at home; if you know you are infected, isolate; [and] if you have travelled and you are not vaccinated, maintain the 14 days [quarantine].”