Sat | Jul 24, 2021

Unanswered questions on COVID-19 vaccine

Published:Saturday | March 20, 2021 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Jamaica, on March 8, received 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to combat the rapidly rising cases of the coronavirus. These 50,000 doses of vaccines were donated by the government of India. The question is whether the vaccine is safe? .

Although the vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency and the WHO, it was reported on Thursday, March 11, that administering of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused across Europe by countries such as Denmark, Estonia, Austria, among many others, after it was reported that persons, after having received the vaccine, died due to complications caused by the formation of blood clots.

The Government of Jamaica is eager for Jamaicans to take the vaccine, so much so that Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke is offering $10,000 to more than 100,000 persons over the age of 60, provided that they take the jab. We want coronavirus to be done and over with. We want to get back to a normal life, without the masks and social distancing. Yes, we are trying to get as many persons vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. But at what cost?

There are already many conspiracy theories going around as it relates to the vaccines, and these newly surfaced news reports are not making things any better, but rather, confirming these suspicions and theories. We are told to check the facts and that we should not give an ear to myths. But if these are the facts that are shown, what is left for the people to do but protect themselves?

So, is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe? Should it be taken or not? That is the question that needs to be answered to give assurance to the people of Jamaica, or else there will be more resistance to take the vaccine.

VANNESSA WILLIAMS