Entertainment players react to vaccine roll-out | Entertainment

News that the Government is to administer the first set of COVID-19 vaccines today has resonated within the entertainment industry, and while some seem delighted, others are cautious.

Sound system veteran Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell of Stone Love Movements is taking what he calls a practical approach.

“I know there are going to be mixed reactions, because I have heard the conversations, and some will take it, while others won’t. The truth, based on what is happening in the world, is that the vaccine will be your visa unless you decide to stay in Jamaica. And in our business, overseas travel is a must,” he told THE STAR. “As for me personally, I am taking it.”

Veteran dancehall artiste Macka Diamond, who is known for touting a healthy lifestyle, said that she is happy that the vaccine is finally here and she is ready to take it.

“I don’t care what nobody want seh; I am ready. I don’t eat meat, I am a vegetarian, a fruitarian, I am everything that is healthy, so my body is in good shape and ready for it,” she said.

“I don’t want anybody to keep telling me it is wrong but cannot explain why. If them come out with a vaccine and the world can come back, and I can get back to doing my show dem, I am good with that. Right now mi hot, and the people dem a call me.”

Entertainment journalist and producer Claude Mills, while noting the positives, said that the arrival would be a sort of litmus test.

“The start of the vaccination drive in Jamaica augurs well for the entertainment industry because it allows the major players to position themselves to be able to travel and do shows once the world reopens for business. The world has changed. There is talk of a COVID-19 passport to prove vaccination, so artistes who fail to comply might find themselves unable to tour, which represents the bulk of earnings in the reggae industry,” Mills stated. “Now we shall see who has the courage of their convictions, because there have been factions creeping up in the industry who have been touting conspiracy theories about this vaccine. Artistes such as Sizzla have resisted the vaccine while Bounty Killer has already endorsed it, so it will be interesting to see who else falls in line with the new rules.”

Raymond ‘Shadow’ Small, director of communications for Prism Marketing Consultants, whose clientele includes a number of top reggae and dancehall artistes, said vaccine education is vital. “Safety is of paramount importance for me. But it is also important that persons do the requisite checks and balances. If you are satisfied with what your research shows, then go ahead and make the right choice,” Small advised.

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