Residents of Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, can claim a free pizza from one of the leading businesses in the community, if they have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Launching the offer, the owner of Lashings Boutique Hotel and Villas David Folb said: "I one hundred per cent respect people's decision to take the vaccine or not. So there is no way I'm trying to offer this as a bribe. What I'm trying to do is to say thank you for helping to keep our community safe."
The Jamaican government has embarked on an aggressive programme to get residents vaccinated against COVID-19. It aims to administer some 700,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of September in pursuit of the target of vaccinating 65 per cent of the population by March 2022. Approximately 400,000 peoeple have been vaccinated to date.
David Folb said that the community of Treasure Beach has recorded relatively low cases of Coronavirus and for that he describes them as 'lucky' for keeping numbers low. He added that at Lashings there is a strict maintenance of protective protocols such as hand washing stations, mask wearing mandate and outdoor eating areas to observe social distance.
He said that his free pizza offer is his way of giving back to the community. "I will do anything, and I will help in any way I can, if people were to take the vaccine. I'm not trying to persuade them to take the vaccine. I come from a country (the UK) where they are predicting that taking the vaccine has already saved 60,000 lives, so what I'm trying to say is that there is so much misinformation, I'm not surprised some people are teetering.
"All I'm trying to do is encourage people to make the right decision," he said.
Mr Folb said his family are fully vaccinated, as well as his staff, which he describes as a "selfless decision". Since the announcement of the free pizza offer three days ago, Lashings Hotel has given away dozens pizzas to vaccinated individuals. The promotion will be valid until the end of the year.
This the edited version of an article which first appeared in the Jamaica Star.