Mon | May 17, 2021

Street Forrest weighs COVID risk, gets vaccinated

Published:Friday | March 19, 2021 | 12:17 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer
The health education talk was a mandatory step in the vaccination process, where clients were given information about COVID-19 and the vaccine they were preparing to take.
The health education talk was a mandatory step in the vaccination process, where clients were given information about COVID-19 and the vaccine they were preparing to take.
Assistant Superintendent Howard Thomas of the Jamaica Fire Brigade relaxes in the observation area after being vaccinated at The Good Samaritan Inn in Kingston on Wednesday.
Assistant Superintendent Howard Thomas of the Jamaica Fire Brigade relaxes in the observation area after being vaccinated at The Good Samaritan Inn in Kingston on Wednesday.
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As the local COVID-19 vaccination drive continues with a one-day record of 13 deaths and 821 additional cases on Tuesday, more Jamaicans are turning out to be immunised against the deadly virus which has claimed more than 2.6 million lives globally over the past year.

Among those who turned out for their first of two AstraZeneca shots at The Good Samaritan Inn in Kingston on Wednesday was Marlene Street Forrest, general manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

She admitted that her decision to take the vaccine was influenced by the deadly toll and depressing news surrounding the coronavirus.

“The fact [is] that the numbers are going up, and as a result of that, it is important that each and everyone of us try to protect ourselves and to allow for there to be protection of others as well,” she told The Gleaner.

“So, yes, it really made me take the decision quicker than I would normally have done. Because I weighed it, you know, and when I saw the numbers, and also some of the assurances by others that the vaccine is supposed to be safe, I took the decision to come.”

Assistant Superintendent Howard Thomas of the Fire Prevention Unit in the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Kingston and St Andrew Division, said he was pleased with how smoothly the process went.

“Well, me did have some mixed feelings in terms of coming to get the vaccine, but after reading and finding out what is really happening, I decided to come, and the experience here was okay for me,” he said. “I didn’t have much problem. I came in, sanitise and do my regular temperature check, then fill out my registration form and get my little counselling and get my vaccine. And now I am in the observation area, so it was pretty okay for me.”

On Wednesday, hopeful senior citizens again outnumbered healthcare workers at The Good Samaritan Inn, but they were much more orderly than in previous days, although some failed to observe the mandated minimum six-foot physical-distancing protocol.

Persons were vaccinated in a five-step process after being vetted at the gate and producing proof of identity. Those to be vaccinated were then sanitise and had their temperature checked. Those with higher-than-normal readings were asked to wait a few minutes before being checked again.

After filling out the registration form, persons were ushered into a nearby area, where they are briefed on the pandemic and the vaccine, and allowed to ask questions before being sent to the registration area. After being inoculated, they were placed in an observation area for at least 15 minutes, as staff watched for any immediate adverse reactions.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com