Golding begs Jamaicans to take vaccine

FORMER Prime Minister Bruce Golding has reiterated his call for Jamaicans to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

He said he has lost seven friends to the virus including high-profile lawyers William McCalla and Paul Beswick.

Golding and former Prime Minister P J Patterson were among the first batch of Jamaicans vaccinated one month ago. At the time, they encouraged their countrymen to be responsible and do the same.

Though the Ministry of Health and Wellness has reported an increase in Jamaicans getting vaccinated, Golding noted a strong level of misguided apprehension among the populace.

“I don’t understand the resistance, because if you go to your doctor, very often your doctor gives you an injection and you don’t ask him what he’s injecting you with — you just leave it to your doctor because the doctor is supposed to know what he’s doing,” Golding reasoned. “You go to hospital and the hospital seh, ‘Well, this is what’s wrong with you’ and they don’t even discuss it with you. A nurse comes up with her syringe and she gives you the injection and you ask no question. So why is it that people are being so resistant?”

The Jamaica Government received an initial shipment of 50,000 doses of vaccines from India’s government on March 8. One week later, another 14,000 doses were made available courtesy of the COVAX facility, which comprises the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, UNICEF, Vaccine Alliance, Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.

Frontline workers, which include professionals in the health care and education sectors, were also early recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine. The elderly and people employed to the leisure industry have been vaccinated at various sites across the country.

McCalla died on March 28 while Beswick died on April 10.

Golding, 73, was admitted to hospital one week after taking the vaccine which prompted speculation it may have been related. He assured that was not the case.

“I have a coagulation problem that hits me. It hit me last year and I spent four days in hospital and it hit me again this year. It’s a problem I’ve had long before COVID,” he said.

– Howard Campbell

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