Almost 50-percent of Jamaicans believe they are at high risk of getting Covid-19!
However, more than 40-percent are of the view that Covid-19 vaccines should not be mandatory in Jamaica. That’s the findings of the Nationwide Bluedot Poll conducted last month, between August 14 and 30, among 1,500 Jamaicans, 18 years and older.
The poll had a margin of error of 2.5-percent.
As Wayne Walker reports, it also found that a big majority of Jamaicans believe the government should focus on public education to encourage vaccination.
When asked, “To what extent do you feel personally at risk of getting Covid-19?” 48-percent of those surveyed said they felt at High Risk. 34-percent said Moderate Risk. Only 18-percent said they felt at little risk of getting the virus which has killed more than 15-hundred Jamaicans so far.
A similar figure, 18-percent said they felt at Very High Personal Risk compared to 5-percent who felt they were at very little personal risk.
However, on the contentious issue of mandatory vaccinations, 42-percent of Jamaicans said they are opposed to it.
More than one in four of those polled, 28-percent, said they strongly disagreed with mandatory vaccines. Less than half of that number, 13-percent, strongly agreed.
Overall, 36-percent agreed with mandatory vaccination. That’s a six percentage point gap between those whose who disagree.
A significant 22-percent of Jamaicans told the Bluedot pollsters that they were undecided on the subject of mandatory vaccination.
On the question of what should the government do?
A majority of Jamaicans, 60-percent, believe the government should undertake public education to encourage vaccination.
42-percent said the administration should reduce wait times in lines at vaccination centres. 36-percent said the government should make the on-line appointment system easier to use.
They also suggested importing other vaccines and opening up vaccinations to all age groups. Both of which have now been done.
Significantly more than one in four Jamaicans, 26-percent, said financial rewards and incentives should be offered to encourage Jamaicans to be vaccinated.
23-percent said there should be additional testing for public sector workers. 21-percent said government should impose tighter restrictions for unvaccinated persons
Jamaicans are also divided on their outlook towards the Covid-19 vaccine. They were asked about how their attitude and outlook towards the vaccines had changed over the past few months.
39-percent said it had not changed. 37-percent said they had a better outlook. While 25-percent said their outlook had got worse.