Worldwide persons are hesitant about taking a vaccination of any sort regardless of where it would have been developed due to what seems to be a number of reasons. These include: a stark lack of conversation amongst citizens and the so-called ‘experts’; a discussion on the pros and cons of taking a vaccine; mistrust of the relevant government and no guarantees that the “cure” will not be worse than the actual COVID-19. Many people are simply afraid to have a foreign serum injected into their bodily systems.
I may be one of the smartest person in The Bahamas, BUT I am no medical doctor or a health care specialist. Sometimes, however, I am able to conjure up what I consider to be realistic solutions and suggestions to deal with public policy initiatives. Mind you the run of the mill “know it” all political and other societal leaders hardly ever listen to anything from anyone relative to possible solutions for what seems to be insurmountable issues.
The easing of the pandemic and the acceptance by Bahamians by and large of whatever vaccines are available would progress, in my view, more rapidly if the suggested concerns listed above are considered by the Minnis government. As to what vaccine is currently available is the AstraZenica. There are others such as Pjizer; Mordena and J&J on the market but in many countries inclusive of the USA and the European Union governments have in some cases banned them either for expired dates; pricing; availability; refrigeration capacity and adverse reactions amongst some blood clotting and other medical issues resulting in death. Others are manufactured in Russia and China. A rock and a hard place again?
We all would wish to live a long and healthy life under the best circumstances possible. Death, however, will come to ALL of us except those who are yet living whenever The Rapture comes, as promised. I suggest that it is also because of the anxiety and fear that one could die from taking an “emergency only approved” vaccination as are all the ones currently available.
Most of you all Bahamians want to get to heaven BUT few of you would wish what you’d call an “early” death even if you’d have: mansions not made by hand; streets of gold (cash for gold here you all come); unlimited milk and honey and options to sing in the celestial choir! May I suggest that The Bahamas Christian Council, et al, dialogue with the Minnis administration about setting up vaccination sites, fully sanitized and manned by qualified medical personnel, outside of the view of the general congregation, and get jabbed if they so wish.
I would also encourage the administration to ask the web industry/government joint foundation or the foundational funds that BTC/the government is supposed to have established way back then when Batelco was sold for chicken feed to place funds into the Ministry of Social Development so as to allow that ministry to motivate individuals to attend designated vaccination sites. Once they would have been vaccinated each person would receive a food voucher for not less than B$50.00 Yes, some cynics will suggest that this is “not right” and I agree BUT Bahamians love to be motivated.
The Bahamas Motor Dealers Association along with some of the larger independent car dealers could offer a raffle type drawing for persons who are able to verify that they would either have been fully vaccinated or had taken at least one shot. The said raffle would have to be approved by the Ministry of Finance, headed by The Competent Authority.
The raffled vehicle would be a big draw in persuading many Bahamians to be vaccinated, especially those who may not now have a vehicle or would have had one repossessed due to inability to service the loan agreement.
A mandatory national vaccination must be devised. There could be exemptions on certain very restricted grounds, but by and large we MUST all be vaccinated and be certified accordingly. If I ran a retail business or a restaurant and bar facility all of my employees would have to be fully vaccinated in order to work there. No prudent business facility which caters to the public would dare run the very real risk of a customer or client contracting the virus while visiting the establishment. To run that risk opens the door to massive insurance claims.
The administration, however, will have to up its game on the rapid return of the economy and rebuilding of our tourist plant. The pity is that we are well into the anticipated general elections. As a result of this almost every public policy initiative, except the really stupid ones, will attract partisan politics. What a tragedy of Greek proportions. Place more professional advice and information on the table PM - after all, according to you: “It’s about saving lives!” To God then in all things be the glory.
I would advise the PM and his kitchen cabinet to seriously consider ALL of the above and do not simply throw out the baby (not me, of course) with the bath water. At some point ALL Bahamians and legal residents will HAVE to be vaccinated once we come to realize that this would probably be the only and safest way to get back to some form of normalcy. It cannot be where an individual would expect to engage in regular societal intercourse with other Bahamians, on the job, in church, the malls and shopping areas or even the beaches. Some say that the mark of the beast is at hand.
ORTLAND H. BODIE, Jr.
June 27, 2021