J’can councillor under fire for waiting on Moderna jab, colleagues say he’s not setting a good example

Despite the health ministry’s long-standing advice to Jamaicans to get the first vaccine they’re offered,at least one politician has said he’s waiting for a specific jab.

People’s National Party (PNP) councillor Sydney Rose, who chairs the St Catherine Municipal Corporation’s Health and Sanitation committee, came under intense criticism after he responded to a question about why he had not yet been vaccinated.

According to Rose, he had not yet received the vaccine because he was awaiting the arrival of the Moderna jab on the island.

“ You want me to speak to it and I will speak, I have asked for a particular one – the Moderna which the government… they would have issued a press release, i have heard it that they would be bringing in some Moderna, I have asked the senior medical officer of health that if and when, I will take that one,” Rose said as he responded to the question.

However, his response was met with anger from some of the council members, including Theresa Turner-Flynn who accused Rose of not setting a good example.

“ You are not setting any example,set an example,” fired Turner-Flynn

“Councillor Turner, I have a choice and my choice is Moderna,” responded a clearly unbothered Rose.

Rose further told the angry councillors, who continued to scold him for his comments that he had a choice and they should respect that choice.

“ I did say I will take it but I have a choice, respect my choice … none of you can’t tell me what to take, I am an independent mind,” said Rose, as he firmly restated his position.

Rose says he’s waiting for a mRNA vaccine… not specifically Moderna

BUZZ reached out to Rose who further explained his position noting that he was specifically waiting on a mRNA vaccine, highlighting the rigorous testing such vaccines had gone through in the United States.

“The process that they use is very tedious and very technical, I would have preferred any vaccine which has gone through all of that process: the CDC, the different levels of technical persons, technical institution before any vaccine is administered to anyone in the United States,” said Rose

“ I would have also noticed that the supply of AstraZeneca that the United States has, they are saying that they’re going to give it away to Mexico and Canada – they are not using it ,” he added.

When asked what he made of his colleagues’ strong reactions to his decision to wait for the Moderna vaccine, Rose said he believed that they were just trying to get back at him for criticizing the poor condition that the Glengoffe Police Station was in.

“They were political… they were from the Jamaica Labour Party, I am the chairman and I am from the PNP… It came about… I think, I am not sure because I was speaking about the conditions of the Glengoffe Police Station which is termite and rat infested.I think it is based on that that they were pushing back,” said Rose.

Rose admitted that while he was specifically hesitant about the AstraZeneca vaccine, he was not against vaccinations more generally.

In March the health ministry had indicated that the island was to receive 20,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, however US restrictions on exports have hindered the arrival of the jabs.