Thu | Jun 8, 2023

All COVID vaccines are safe – Holness

Published:Monday | September 20, 2021 | 12:06 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has cautioned the unvaccinated who continue to cite the unavailability of their preferred vaccine as reason for not taking the jab, to take any vaccine that is available.

At the beginning of the country’s vaccination drive, only the AstraZeneca vaccines were available. However, since the introduction of the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, several persons have indicated a preference for Pfizer and are refusing to be inoculated with anything else.

Though there are strong preferences for what the public deems the more effective vaccine, there is no clear indication as to how many more doses of the Pfizer vaccine the Government will be able to procure in the next shipment, with the great demand in the market and high costs associated.

While most vaccination sites across the country continue to administer the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, all 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines obtained by the Government have run out.

Of the 200,000 Pfizer doses, over 70,000 doses have been administered to children ages 12 years and older.

Holness, who toured vaccination sites across the four constituencies in the parish on Thursday, said all vaccines are safe and persons should not be waiting as a result of preferences.

“Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Take the first vaccine that is available because that is the best vaccine. All the vaccines that are available here, that we have procured into the system for your use, are safe for you. All of them give you a high level of protection and all of them will save your life.”

As anti-vaxxing campaigns continue to surge, Holness highlighted the importance of vaccinated persons becoming vaccination ambassadors.

“Some of you would watch the news and see that, in some countries, 90 per cent of their population has been vaccinated and nothing has happened to them. What is happening is that their country is returning to normalcy. You have used your God-given wisdom and good judgement and have decided to take the vaccine. You are the heroes that are going to tame Jamaica.”

Holness added: “For those persons who are hesitant, sceptical and nonchalant and maliciously spreading all kinds of conspiracy theories and rumours about the vaccine, I want you to go back into your communities and show yourself as the model, as the example to say that ‘I have taken the vaccine and I am alright and I have what is necessary in my own interest, in my family’s interest and in the country’s interest, to return Jamaica to normalcy’.”