Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness seems open to incarcerated Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel’s participation in his government’s ‘Every Vax Counts’ pro-vaccination campaign as an influential ambassador.
While visiting a vaccination site in St. Andrew Southwest with Member of Parliament Angela Brown Burke and Opposition Leader Mark Golding on Friday, Holness was asked whether he would support Vybz Kartel‘s enlistment to the campaign.
“In a national emergency such as a pandemic, we the government of Jamaica would enlist the support of all well-thinking citizens in encouraging persons to take the vaccine,” he responded.
Holness emphasized that it was a general call—which would be guided by rules—for persons with influence to be given a chance to use their platform to increase vaccination rates on the island.
“This is a general call. In terms of how the government structures this program, with the existence of a pandemic, an emergency does not always justify the dispensing of rules and regulations and laws and policies and principles for the design of programs, so we make a general call for everyone for every citizen of Jamaica to support and use their influence.”
PM Andrew Holness today continued his vaccine tour in St Andrew SW with MP Angela Brown Burke and Opposition Leader Mark Golding. Reporter Kimone Francis asked him whether he would support including incarcerated entertainer #VybzKartel in the national COVID vaccine campaign. pic.twitter.com/ZdsshDdgvh
— Jamaica Star (@jamaicastar) September 17, 2021
The ‘Every Vax Counts’ Campaign isn’t limited to entertainers but has seen an array of persons from social media influencers, politicians among others.
“We have reached out to persons in churches for example, in the entertainment industry, we’re reaching out in the political, we’ve reached out in the business community. Not everyone can immediately come out and say my fraternity… but in their fraternity they will mobilize.”
“The government, to be clear, has reached out to all citizens of Jamaica. We do however have a national program and that program has to follow procurement rules, it has to follow all the laws, guidelines and procedures surrounding.”
“So my short answer to you is we encourage everyone of all walks of life wherever you are whatever your status whatever your station that if you can support and add your voice, please go ahead and do so.”
In August, Vybz Kartel’s attorney Isat Buchanan had revealed that the singer would be inclined to take the vaccine. He later received his first dose of AstraZeneca in September along with a batch of about 30 inmates of the Horizon Adult Correctional Centre.
Health Minister, Christopher Tufton has welcomed the idea of Vybz Kartel joining the ‘Every Vax Counts’ Campaign.