Paul Andrew Bourne, lead researcher for NCU study
A recent study conducted by Northern Caribbean University (NCU) shows there remains a high level of distrust among Jamaicans in the government's COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Of the 1071 adults surveyed island-wide, 80 per cent indicated they did not trust or were ambivalent towards the government's vaccination drive.
Two thirds of those surveyed indicated that the government did not listen to or respond to the concerns of citizens regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
Lead researcher Paul Andrew Bourne believes that distrust remains the main reason for the low take-up of the vaccines in Jamaica.
Among the respondents, 64.1 per cent of believed that the government was not using enough time and resources to reassure citizens that conspiracies about the vaccines are not true.
The NCU study was conducted from September to November 2021 and has a margin of error of 5 per cent.
The recommendation coming out of the NCU study is that the government should allow scientists to communicate with the public about the vaccination programme, "because seven out of every ten Jamaicans say that they would be vaccinated if they think the vaccination is working, or if the scientists are coming out and letting them be told what the vaccination is all about."
Accordingly, he's urging members of the political directorate to minimise their role in the process, and let the scientists take the lead in seeking to convince those who are reluctant to be vaccinated to change their mind.