SMA reports record vax blitz turnout
After staging the Spectrum Management Authority’s (SMA) first vaccination blitz with a turnout of 150 persons six weeks ago, the state agency’s Managing Director Maria Myers-Hamilton was determined to double the number next time around.
The SMA boss did better: Over 800 persons rolled up their sleeves for their COVID-19 vaccinations at the authority’s Harbour Street office in downtown Kingston on Sunday. Each vaccinated person received complimentary Digicel phone credit and a KFC meal voucher for his or her effort.
“I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who participated, especially the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, KFC, and, in particular, Digicel, for pulling out all the stops to make more persons aware of our vax blitz,” said Myers-Hamilton.
Among the attendees was chef Althea James-Kent. Fresh from her second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, James-Kent welcomed the initiative. She said, “I figure that if I am going to travel, I’m going to have to be fully vaccinated.” She implored others, “You need to take the vaccine because in the long run, it is going to benefit you.”
Public awareness and engagement made a huge difference to the turnout this time around, after Digicel provided social media and text messaging support to spread the word to the vast majority of residents in Kingston and Portmore in the days leading up to the event.
“Getting every eligible person vaccinated has never been more important. This is why we were quick to use our vast network and customer base to provide communication support to the SMA, as well as tokens for vaccinated persons. Our support for the SMA vax blitz is another aspect of our continued investment in getting Jamaica back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager for Digicel. He added, “We commend Mrs Myers-Hamilton and SMA Chairman Ed Gabbidon for their foresight and commitment to the welfare of persons in downtown Kingston and surrounding communities.”