Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Cash-for-vaccine offer not a good idea – majority

Published:Wednesday | September 15, 2021 | 12:12 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
Camelia De’Ann Thompson, registered nurse, administers the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Rita Brown at Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre on August 25.
Camelia De’Ann Thompson, registered nurse, administers the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Rita Brown at Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre on August 25.
A man reads a Pfizer vaccine pamphlet issued at the vaccination blitz held at Merl Grove High School on Sunday..
A man reads a Pfizer vaccine pamphlet issued at the vaccination blitz held at Merl Grove High School on Sunday..
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Jamaicans are divided on the Government’s payment incentive to woo seniors to take vaccines against COVID-19, with a majority of those interviewed in an RJRGLEANER-Don Anderson poll saying it was not a good idea.

Chairperson of the National Council for Senior Citizens, Dr Denise Eldemire-Shearer, says she is not surprised at the findings.

Eldemire-Shearer said that seniors would do what they thought was right to protect their health - and not because they are being offered money as a sweetener.

“The money might be an added plus, but it is not the reason they are doing it,” she added.

The expert on ageing further argued that the vaccination blitzes for the elderly have been successful, with a significant number of seniors turning out to take the jab.

Anderson went into the field between August 19 and September 3 and asked 1,003 Jamaicans their views on the Government paying $10,000 to seniors for vaccination.

Forty-two per cent of those surveyed said it was not a good idea, while 35 per cent gave a contrasting opinion.

Another 18 per cent told Anderson and his team that they were not sure.

Other respondents gave contrasting views, saying it was a bribe, should not be paid, or should be allocated to everyone. Some believed it was a trick while others said more money should have been offered.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.

However, when respondents were asked whether people would take the vaccine if offered money, 76 per cent said they would not.

At the same time, 24 per cent said they would take the vaccine for money.

The majority, or 62 per cent of respondents, believe they are at high risk of getting COVID-19. Another 38 per cent did not believe they were at high risk of contracting the virus.

Nineteen per cent of persons over 75 have been fully vaccinated. That ratio climbs to 25 per cent for those aged 60 and over.

Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke announced that Jamaicans 60 years and older who have been fully vaccinated could apply for the $10,000 grant from the Government.

The initiative took effect on July 15.

Jamaica is targeting the immunisation of 1.9 million people to achieve herd immunity by March 2022.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com