Cabinet is to reconsider the allocation of funding for Public Education and promotion on COVID-19 Vaccines.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the increased public outcry for the COVID-19 vaccine in the island, has prompted the Government to consider reallocating funds budgeted for the public education and promotion programme on vaccines to other areas of health or to acquire more vaccines.
“You will hear shortly of what that reallocation of those resources will do. We still however have to maintain some minimum amount of public education. When you think of the logistical efforts involved in deploying the vaccine, it would still require the Government to communicate with its citizens; time and place and availability, and explain to citizens what the vaccines will do. What side effects there could be; if any. So there still has to be some budget for that,” said Prime Minister Holness.
He noted the concerns and fear of some citizens to take the vaccine once it is available.
However, the Prime Minister said Government will make every effort to ensure citizens can ultimately feel safe.
“We have to ensure that we plan enough to educate; we will reserve resources for public education to encourage persons to take up the vaccine. We were very careful to ensure that any vaccine that we are bringing into the country, that it has WHO (World Health Organization) approval and that we took the time and effort to ensure, that was the case.”
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness reiterated that the Government is working assiduously to get supplies of vaccines into the country.
He reinforced that all Jamaicans must continue to practice and follow the rules under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
“We are still in the danger zone and therefore we must use the ‘vaccine’ that is readily available to us; the mask, the social distancing, the hand sanitizing, the gathering rule and how you conduct yourself. Those have been the first and foremost method of protecting yourself against the disease and I want to urge our Jamaicans to bare that in mind,” said Prime Minister Holness.