Take the shot - Ricketts, Bennett encourage sporting figures to take COVID-19 vaccine » EntornoInteligente

Take the shot – Ricketts, Bennett encourage sporting figures to take COVID-19 vaccine

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“We all have been taking vaccines for a long period of time because when you were growing up, you took about five or six different vaccines, and if you didn’t take them, you wouldn’t be able to go to school,” said Dr Bennett.

“I am waiting anxiously to be able to receive this vaccine to protect myself from this deadly virus,” he said. “The cricketers should not be afraid of it because it is going to protect from a deadly virus that can kill them, and in addition to that, it will release them from the problem of having to tour in a bubble, which is happening now at a significant cost.”

National striker Javon East also said that he was not opposed to taking the vaccine but added that he would need a lot more information about it

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts and Dr Donovan Bennett, first vice-president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), are encouraging Jamaican athletes to take the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, recently announced that Jamaica will receive its first doses of vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility on April 21 at a cost of $3 billion.

He noted that 292,399 doses of the vaccine, which is enough to inoculate five per cent of the population, will be delivered to the island.

Ricketts told The Gleaner that the vaccine would be critical to personal health and is encouraging all the national sporting federations to educate their athletes and staff members about the importance of vaccination.

“I must support this initiative because as someone who would have spent all of my life working in the public-health centre, and as a football administrator, I think it is my duty to encourage everybody to make the best use of the vaccination once it is available,” said Ricketts.

“Certainly, when we think of our days of growing up, we got our BCB (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) vaccine. We got our polio shots, and they were effective, and so again, I want to encourage every single footballing stakeholder to line up to take your vaccination,” he said.

The JFF boss added that he has no reservations about taking the vaccine, especially given his belief that it will become mandatory for travel to most countries.

“In fact, it is going to be mandatory that if you can’t prove that you have had a vaccination, then you can’t enter certain countries,and certainly, based on that and based on the proven effectiveness of other vaccines, I am pretty certain that this vaccination will work,” said Ricketts

“I want to encourage everybody to come out and get your vaccination done as soon as it becomes available, and I certainly will make myself available to be vaccinated,” he said.

NO RISKS Meanwhile, Dr Bennett believes there is no risk in taking the vaccine and is also encouraging members of the sporting public to participate in the vaccination programme.

“We all have been taking vaccines for a long period of time because when you were growing up, you took about five or six different vaccines, and if you didn’t take them, you wouldn’t be able to go to school,” said Dr Bennett.

“I am waiting anxiously to be able to receive this vaccine to protect myself from this deadly virus,” he said. “The cricketers should not be afraid of it because it is going to protect from a deadly virus that can kill them, and in addition to that, it will release them from the problem of having to tour in a bubble, which is happening now at a significant cost.”

National striker Javon East also said that he was not opposed to taking the vaccine but added that he would need a lot more information about it.

“I will have to know how the other persons react to it before I can decide if I will take it,” said East. “I am not sure if it is healthy because I heard that people are taking the vaccine and are still having side effects from it, so I am not sure about it right now.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie sought to alleviate concerns during a recent press briefing, noting the safety of the approved vaccine.

“The development of a vaccine usually takes a long time, but I want you to appreciate the concentration of resources that have been put into the development of these vaccines over the last year, and pretty much what we would have seen done is several years of work that would have been carried out in a short period,” said Bisasor-McKenzie.

“So what you see now is a culmination of those efforts. I want to reassure the public that once the vaccines have been approved, and they have been investigated, and we have seen the results of the trials, you are going to have a vaccine that is safe and effective,” she added.

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