Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be taking the COVID-19 vaccine today.
Holness, addressing a Jamaica House press conference Sunday evening, said he was prepared to wait his turn before taking the jab.
“Everybody is saying you should take it, you should take it, you should take it,” Holness said, while stressing that his decision to get vaccinated today is not in line with the Government’s policy to inoculate frontline workers and vulnerable groups first. “This is about ensuring that the persons who really need it, get it.”
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton took the vaccine last Friday, which is nine days after the first dose of the drug was administered on the island.
Holness,58, said he was due to be vaccinated along with persons aged under-60 who are in executive positions in Government as well as frontline government workers such as cashiers and receptionists.
“We would have started that next week, not necessarily next week Monday, but I am going to take mine tomorrow,” the Prime Minister said.
According to the country’s leader, he had held firm in his position not to be among the first vaccinated because he felt it would be unfair to ‘cut the line’.
“The important message must be sent, with only 64,000 doses of vaccine that you must wait your turn,” Holness said. “If someone called me to say that my mother or my father or my sick relative … I have to be in the moral position to say no, which I have had to be in position saying no to many persons.”
“If I am not in that position, in other words I did not wait my turn, my position would be weakened, and a lot depends on the leadership that I give because if ministers feel that I have taken it and they deserve it too, and they didn’t get it, and it goes down to permanent secretaries and it goes down to directors, the whole system (would) collapse,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that based on data presented to him, out of the 24,000 who have been vaccinated thus far, 94 persons have received the vaccine without waiting their turn.