Fully vaccinated seniors to get $10K each
As of July 15, fully vaccinated persons who are 60 and over will be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant being distributed by the Government.
The grant, according to Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, is an incentive for those who saw it fit to be part of the active fight against the novel coronavirus.
"This is not a social programme, it is an incentive to be vaccinated. This pandemic does not end in Jamaica until a large majority of persons in the over-60 population is vaccinated. It is in the public interest therefore that this age group of the population is fully vaccinated," he said.
The money, which will be distributed under the Conditional Cash Transfer for the Vaccinated as part of the CARE Jamaica programme, will only be distributed once the health ministry's record can confirm that persons have received their jabs.
A single household
"Each fully vaccinated person will get $10,000, so in a single household there can even be seven people each getting $10,000," said Clarke. Based on the ministry records, 7,052 of the 350,000 persons in the over-60 age cohort have been fully vaccinated.
"We are hoping by the time the programme opens we will have about 20,000 or 30,000 persons fully vaccinated and able to collect their incentive," Clarke added.
He said he is particularly interested in making the cohort a focus as mostly the elderly have fallen victim to COVID and the government's aim is to have the country return to some normalcy.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately fatal impact on persons age 60 and over. Figures from the Ministry of Health show that for Jamaica, 75 per cent of those who have died from COVID-19 are from the age group 60 and over," he said. "The restrictions don't go until this vulnerable population is no longer vulnerable."
Fully vaccinated elderly will be able to log on to the government WE CARE platform to register for the grants and the money will be transferred to a bank account or a remittance outlet.
"To access the website will be free of cost and once the money has been approved, they will be communicated with by SMS messages," Clarke detailed. After the health ministry's blitz last Saturday, 159,615 persons had received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.