Jamaica Observer:– MANY who preach doom for individuals who are in support of vaccines to guard against COVID-19 listened attentively to Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday as he tried to convince them that, no matter the brand, they were made through knowledge given to scientists by God.
Holness toured several Corporate Area neighbourhoods in which preparations are in high gear to kick-start community-level vaccination and appealed to residents that having all eligible individuals inoculated against COVID-19 is the only way the country will return to some semblance of normality.
Said he: “People are saying the vaccines are unnatural. There is nothing unnatural about the vaccines. God created it through man and gave him the intelligence.”
The prime minister went to speak directly to those who have been described as naysayers: “There is an argument that sometimes man goes too far and tries to change up nature, but taking the vaccine does not in any way reduce your faith in God. God is going to protect you, and the way in which you are being protected is that he has created man with the intelligence to create a medicine that can cure you,” he explained.
The Member of Parliament for St Andrew West Central attempted to pull on the heartstrings of Linnette Brown, a Grant’s Pen resident who declared that she will not take the vaccine:
“We do need to have prayers, and as a nation we need to humble ourselves before God. I have heard too many stories of pastors in churches preaching out against the vaccine and at the same time members of their congregations pass away,” Holness said.
Brown, in response, pointed to the book of Revelations in the Bible, adding that, while the vaccines may not be the “mark of the beast”, as some people have said publicly, she thought they were “definitely paving the way for it to be introduced”.
Particular reference was made to Revelations 13: 17-18 in the Bible: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast or the number of his name… Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”
Holness continued his encouragement for vaccination, but Brown remained strident: “If persons are willing to take it, they must know the relationship they have with God. I take the necessary precautions, though.”
She explained the source of her faith: “Last year I died and came back twice in the hospital with kidney issues. God brought me through it and the same God will deliver me through COVID-19. My kidneys were rotting inside of me. I trust in the same God.”
On one of his stops yesterday, explaining that vaccination would soon be readily accessible in the community, Holness told residents that this was the ticket for individuals who wanted to “party from 5 am to 5 am the next day, if you so choose”.
Promoter of popular party event Boom Sunday, usually held in Grant’s Pen, Anthony Dwyer, for his part, told residents that COVID-19 is real and serious and urged them to “do the right thing”.
“Mek sure you vaccinate! My friend in St Croix told me that if you slip you slide.”
Dwyer confessed that he was eager to see entertainment booming again as the lockdowns had been taking a toll.
One resident of Grant’s Pen bluntly told his community colleagues that he was prepared to become vaccinated:
“I need to protect myself. I have a baby sister, a mother, and two sisters with asthma, and a grandmother with hypertension and diabetes. I have to play my part,” he chimed in.
In the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday, 20 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in Jamaica, pushing the tally to 1,666. There were 672 new cases bringing the total to 73,496, of which 22,225 are active.