Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Nothing to fear!

Young vaxxer encourages Jamaicans to take jab

Published:Monday | August 2, 2021 | 12:09 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Eighteen-year-old Shaniellia Bramwell waiting to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday at the Manchester High School in the parish.
Eighteen-year-old Shaniellia Bramwell waiting to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday at the Manchester High School in the parish.
Justyn Reid waits to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at Manchester High School on day two of the vaccination blitz on Sunday.
Justyn Reid waits to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at Manchester High School on day two of the vaccination blitz on Sunday.
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Manchester, Jamaica

With the third vaccination blitz under way across the island and the second to be accommodating persons as young as 18 years old, young vaxxers in Manchester are encouraging Jamaicans to be proactive and get the jab.

Nineteen-year-old Justyn Reid, who turned up at the Manchester High School on Sunday with his mother, believes that the daily increase in COVID-19 cases should be reason enough for persons to boost their fight against the virus.

“The cases are rising, the world has changed drastically. I haven’t been to school in two years and the online thing is very difficult. I would like if everyone could come out and take the vaccine so we can get the place back to normal,” Reid contended.

On Saturday, the country recorded 342 new cases, bringing the total to 53,237 cases.

Of the over 300 cases, Kingston and St Andrew recorded 73, followed by Manchester with 57, St Catherine with 45, and St Ann with 41.

The country also recorded six new deaths, bringing the total to 1,196.

Having witnessed his friend’s mother die as a result of COVID-19, Reid underscored the importance of planning ahead for any eventuality.

“... I felt it because it could have been my mother. It could have been anybody’s mother and to lose a mother at such a young age, it hurts ... I feel good [having my mother here today] because I know she will have some immunity or safety in case of anything.”

Admitting that many of his own friends were sceptical of the vaccine, Reid advised individuals to use knowledge to kill fear.

“ ... Get it! Just get it. There is nothing to be afraid of ... . It (vaccine) is fairly new, but they have been working on it for a while. You just have to educate yourself about it.”

Sharing similar sentiments, a nursing student at The Northern Caribbean University, Shaniellia Bramwell, said that the relatively high number of anti-vaxxers was cause for concern as persons expressed greater fears about the vaccine than the virus.

She encouraged persons to get vaccinated as this could prevent unnecessary hospitalisations.

Over the next four days of the blitz, health officials in the parish are expecting to inoculate approximately 1,000 persons per day at larger vaccination sites and approximately 500 at smaller sites.

Medical Officer of Health for the parish, Dr Nadine Williams, said that more than 300 doses were administered on Saturday at the Mandeville Regional Hospital and the Mandeville Comprehensive Clinic.