We might assume that many Jamaicans over 60 who have not yet been vaccinated are hesitating or unwilling to get their first dose. However, our senior citizens face many practical challenges these days – none more so than those who are living in rural areas. The Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) is worried that the most vulnerable age groups may be left behind. By far the largest percentage of deaths is among senior citizens over 60. And we have lost 948 Jamaicans to COVID-19, as of May 30. Most of those who have died in the past year and two months have been beloved grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts.
But have we thought of the possibility that many of our older citizens (who may also have disabilities) may not have the means or ability to access the vaccines – in other words, to get to their local health clinics, which may be miles away?
So why can’t political representatives, who so diligently ensure that the aged and infirm are carried to polling stations to vote for them, help out their older constituents by organising for them to get vaccinated?
If you yourself know an elderly person who would like to take the vaccine, perhaps you can help out too!
CCRP Urges Political Representatives to Help Rural Seniors Get Vaccinated
Kingston, May 27, 2021: The Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) has noted with concern complaints that elderly citizens in rural communities have limited access to COVID-19 vaccination. Since they are aware of the shortage of health personnel to assist with mobile services, the organisation is appealing to Members of Parliament to assist these persons to get vaccinated.
As it continues its advocacy for a better quality of life for Jamaican seniors, CCRP stands ready to assist Members of Parliament in publicizing such arrangements and any other relevant measures, so that their elderly constituents can be notified of contact and scheduling information as well as any other assistance that may be available.
CCRP notes that on Election Day, there has always been a concerted effort on the part of both political parties to transport elderly electors to polling stations. It is appealing to party representatives to make similar arrangements to safeguard the health of the elderly in their respective constituencies. CCRP is also asking good neighbours to reach out to elderly Jamaicans they know, to help them get to the nearest clinic for vaccination.
“I urge Jamaica’s seniors to get vaccinated,” said CCRP Board Director and family physician Dr. Owen James. “COVID is particularly dangerous for vulnerable persons, for example those with chronic medical conditions. Please do not delay- get vaccinated- rather than get COVID! The life you save WILL be your own- AND that of others!”
CCRP is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-denominational organisation, founded in 2010 to work towards ensuring that the vast talent, experience and wisdom of seniors will be respected, to ensure that our seniors will enjoy the quality of life they deserve, and to support them to continue making their contribution to the development of community, country and region. CCRP collaborates with the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre, UWI and the Ministry of Labour & Social Security in upholding the rights of senior citizens.