Vybz Kartel ready to take COVID vaccine
Attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan says that Vybz Kartel and other dancehall entertainers should be considered by the Government as key messengers in the drive to get Jamaicans vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Buchanan, who represents Vybz Kartel, said that the 'Worl Boss' is open to being vaccinated. The dancehall superstar, whose given name is Adidjah Palmer, is currently serving a life sentence for murder.
"Mr Palmer is ready and willing to take the vaccine if it were available, but it is not. This is not no publicity stunt, and I will go as far as say they should provide it for all inmates, and when all inmates have it available to them, Mr Palmer would be happy to take it," Buchanan told THE STAR.
On Saturday, Dr Carolyn Cooper, a specialist in culture and development, writing in The Gleaner, said that Prime Minister Andrew Holness should seek to enlist the support of Vybz Kartel to help spread the pro-vaxx message.
"Howard Mitchell, chairman a di National Health Fund, im tell mi seh im did tell Tufton fi go a prison an reason wid Vybz Kartel fi see if im wuda buss a chune fi encourage people fi tek di vaccine.
"Mitchell seh im no know if Kartel wuda dweet, but im done know seh it wuda sell off. Tufton no pay im bad mind. Mi agree wid Howard Mitchell," wrote Cooper, who in March 2011 invited Kartel to give a guest lecture at The University of the West Indies.
"Brogad better listen Howard Mitchell an go beg Kartel fi help out a situation becau tings well bad wid wi. Covid-19 a run wild. Kartel a nuh God bredda, but im talent mighta help fi save wi from drop in a di pit a hell," Cooper said.
The Government has set a target of inoculating 65 per cent of the population by next March and is pushing to get 700,000 shots in arms by the end of September. Buchanan reasoned that the Government's job could get easier if it enlists the likes of Vybz Kartel in the vaccination drive.
"The Government should recognise that dancehall is the biggest influence on the people, and if they are incapable of inciting the masses, then they should seek guidance. Vybz Kartel, and every entertainer in the entertainment industry, they have value," Buchanan said.
The attorney noted that politicians used dancehall music, particularly dubplates, to good effect in the 2020 general election campaign. He said that reaching out to dancehall artistes once more would redound to the benefit of the country.
"You see the same way that Brogad and Sista Babsy have two of the hottest dubplates, and the clash has caused the Leader of Opposition to take several seats in a dubby-magnum style, that same clash is what speaks to the people," Buchanan said.