Promoters weigh in on ‘vaccination parties’
Amid the creative event concepts the Jamaican entertainment industry has heard of, a 'vaccination party' has yet to come up.
However, in countries like Argentina, there have been events dedicated to raising awareness on the benefits of vaccines and also to administer them for measles, poliomyelitis and influenza.
One specific hospital in the South American country, Nino Jesus Pediatric Hospital, hosts its 'Vaccination Night' health party during World Immunization Week, celebrated every year in the last week of April, fee of charge, targeting citizens who had not received vaccinations.
Speaking to Marlon 'Boom Boom' Wizard about the concept in light of Jamaica receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, he stated that it was an interesting concept, though public gatherings are presently off the calendar.
The popular dancehall selector and party promoter told THE STAR, "It is a thing we can consider as a country, but I am sure while there will be some people weh well want to party or craving some type of socialisation weh will do it, yuh a guh find people weh nah guh waan entertain that." He also suggested that a vaccination party was also "risky business".
The hospital's Vaccination Night, known for featuring live entertainment, recorded that the number of vaccine doses administered there had been increasing since 2015, estimated at approximately 7,000 doses in 2019.
Meanwhile, Supa Hype, who usually hosts Sexy Tuesdays, said, "If Prime Minister Andrew Holness want di people vaccinate a dat him haffi guh do."
He made reference to the Argentinian hospital's event, which was supported by the Pan American Health Organization, the regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, and a US-based nursing home which hosted its COVID-19 vaccine disco party to get all their nursing and rehab residents vaccinated, which was reported by the ABC-affiliated WISN website.
"Him can keep a small vaccination party, invite family and friends and see how it work," Supa Hype said. But Dream Entertainment's Scott Dunn disagreed with the concept.
"We don't have enough vaccines and are nowhere near ready for any mass vaccinations of the general population," he said. "The very nature of COVID goes against any large gathering of unvaccinated or untested people."
One doctor, who chose to respond anonymously, said that it is the Government's responsibility to research the potential ways to not only make persons aware, but also to make the vaccine available to the citizens.
"I have, like many of my colleagues, received the vaccine. But then again, we are front-line workers and there are questions persons want answered before jumping into any party for a vaccine. No matter how much the people are missing the nightlife, we're not equipped to roll out anything like that," he said.