Even as the government is offering seniors a $10,000 incentive to take the COVID-19 vaccine and is seeking to get the private sector to also offer similar perks, an overwhelming majority of Jamaicans say monetary inducements would not influence their decision to take the shot.
The issue was put to Jamaicans in the latest RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll.
The poll was conducted from August 19 to September 3 among 1,003 Jamaicans and has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.
Pollster Don Anderson said 76 per cent, or three out of every four persons interviewed, said a monetary incentive could not influence them to take the vaccine.
Conversely, 34 per cent of respondents said they would want the money to take the jab.
Mr. Anderson said the responses show "there is strong opposition to paying people for them to take the vaccine."
However, he said Jamaicans are divided on whether it was a good idea for the government to pay senior citizens an incentive for taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Forty-two per cent of those interviewed said it was not a good idea, but 35 per cent said it was a good move.
Eighteen per cent were not sure if it was a good idea, while others said the payment should be more than $10,000, it should be for everyone, or it was a bribe.
The Government's COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Programme came into effect in July.
People 60 years and older, who are fully vaccinated, are eligible.
Last month, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said his ministry's Health and Wellness Foundation has been charged with leading efforts to collaborate with the private sector to provide incentives for people who get vaccinated.
The latest poll has also found that 62 per cent of Jamaicans believe they are at high risk for catching COVID-19.
Regarding the 38 per cent who do not think they are at risk, Mr. Anderson believes, based on the Government's current marketing and vaccination strategy, "it is quite likely that you are not going to get these persons to take the vaccine at any point in time despite what you might offer to them as an inducement."
Stay-at-home for seniors
At the same time, Mr. Anderson said most Jamaicans believe the stay-at-home order for seniors has helped to protect them.
Sixty-eight per cent said they believed if senior stayed home they had a good chance of not getting COVID-19.
The pollster said the figure suggested an "acceptance of the Government's strategy" and its performance in terms of its handling of the pandemic.
But 32 per cent of those asked did not think the stay-at-home policy for seniors was a good strategy.