With the global race for the approval of COVID-19 vaccinations already in full motion, there are questions about how they will be distributed and the potential risks.
In a recent press conference, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said that with more than 49.7 million COVID-19 cases and more than 1.2 million deaths, “vaccination as a response to containing the disease cannot be overlooked”.
Globally, there are conversations about making vaccines mandatory for persons to travel. Reggae veteran Cocoa Tea said that for him, the vaccination “is totally a no-no”.
“If them don’t want me to come to them country, that is fine. Me not going to no country if me have to take vaccine – not even Jamaica. What is more important to you, yuh bread and butter, or yuh life? It’s a no brainer. As long as vaccine involved, you can count me out of the equation. I am not taking any vaccine, no time nowhere, no how,” Cocoa Tea told THE STAR.
The Hurry Up And Come singer, who is presently in Florida, said that he is not even prepared to take a COVID-test to travel, even to Jamaica.
He said, “In the past it took seven or more years for a vaccine to fight an infectious disease to be approved for human consumption, now they want to do that in seven months – it is too short a time.”
Businessman Sean Irving, manager for reggae artiste, Richie Spice, said if there is a COVID vaccine stipulation for touring, it could clash with the belief of many people, “like our Rastafarian entertainers”.
“Personally, I don’t want to have to take the vaccine, not because I don’t believe in it, but because the research being put into it, it’s not sufficient for me,” Irving told THE STAR. “I usually travel with my artistes on tours or for overseas bookings and if it becomes necessary, some will not want to take a vaccine because it is against their beliefs.”
Rastafarian reggae entertainers Turbulence and Lutan Fyah were indecisive, even though their beliefs are strongly against vaccination.
“We are hearing of secret microchips and several conspiracies yes, but vaccinations, before all this, have been a big no in the Rasta community,” Turbulence said. “People will join groups, but the heads of the Earth govern the vaccine so what are we to do? We can fight and fight and fight for rights. It’s just that over the years, we’ve been bullied, down-pressed into a corner that we have to give up, as a way of surviving. This is not much different.”
Lutan Fyah said people should have a choice about whether to take the vaccine.
“It is part of my rights to choose what I put into my body. I have to know everything from start to finish, what is in it, are people of all races getting the same vaccine, the side effects, and if they withhold information, I will withhold myself from it. I may can’t travel without it, but if that time comes for Lutan Fyah, I don’t know what you will do because I don’t do Babylon from 1995 when I decide Rastafarianism is the way of life,” he said