Fri | Oct 15, 2021

SAJ president urges industry, Jamaicans to get vaccinated

SAJ president urges Jamaicans to get vaccinated

Published:Tuesday | July 20, 2021 | 12:05 AM
Only nine per cent of Jamaica’s eligible population has been vaccinated so far.
Only nine per cent of Jamaica’s eligible population has been vaccinated so far.
President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, William Brown.
President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, William Brown.

The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) is urging eligible workers within the industry to get vaccinated against the coronavirus which has infected over 51,000 Jamaicans.

The latest call came from the SAJ’s president, William Brown, who said everyone should get vaccinated, once eligible, noting, “It’s your life.”

“Vaccination is important to the health of the nation. The fact is that vaccinations, over the years, have proven to be a positive impact on all kinds of ills.

“Vaccinations have proven, historically, to support healthy countries, and that’s simply what you want, healthy people. It’s not just the industry, you can’t vaccinate the industry and leave the remainder of the country without vaccination, so the industry is just a little piece of what’s important; the country has to be vaccinated,” he said.

Brown, who is also the managing director of Lannaman and Morris, revealed that the company was affected during the pandemic as cruises were forced to halt, removing about half of the revenue from that particular business line. “So we have lost a lot of money, but we made adjustments to mitigate against that loss and maintain our full staff complement,” he said, adding that a voluntary salary cut was part of the mitigation process.

The importance of vaccination was also reiterated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a groundbreaking ceremony in Kingston recently.

Holness said, “So countries where we are seeing high vaccination rates, we are seeing their economies recovering faster. That will have a spill-over effect, as well ... we will see the impact in our tourism numbers [as] people will want to travel, now that they are fully vaccinated.”

“So I’m urging every single Jamaican [to] take the vaccine when your time comes. The quicker we take them ... is the more appealing our economy will look when people have to make their travel decisions.”

Just under 180,000 Jamaicans have received a dose of the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine, with over 60 per cent of that figure receiving their second dose.

The number of vaccinated individuals represent nine per cent of the eligible population.

The health ministry is currently delivering second doses to those who are due, with the vaccination process expected to broaden as more vaccines arrive in the coming weeks.