A majority of Jamaicans oppose the vaccine mandate despite the fact that more than 95% of those who died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
In a poll conducted by Bill Johnson-Mello TV, around 60% of respondents said they oppose making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all adults.
With barely 23% of its population fully vaccinated, Jamaica can only be compared with Haiti when it comes to the rate of immunization.
The reluctance to have a jab has received harsh criticism from the country’s medical community.
“98.4% of those who have died were unvaccinated, a clear indication of the value of vaccination to saving lives,” stated Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Minister of Health & Wellness. “We must follow the science even while we attempt to balance lives and livelihoods.”
The Caribbean country has lost 2,694 people to the pandemic. Some hospitals in the country are still stretched to the limit due to the increase in the number of people infected with the virus.
The rising rate of infection is blamed on the spread of the Omicron variant, which is believed to be more contagious than all previous variants of the virus.
However, some medical experts argue that Omicron is “a blessing in disguise”, adding that those who are infected with the virus are likely to get greater immunity against the disease in the days ahead.