THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S MINISTRY OF HEALTH TO SWAP OF ASTRAZENECA AND J&J VACCINES DUE TO LOW DEMAND
The Ministry of Health in Jamaica has decided to scale back the procurement of the AstraZeneca and one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines due to poor demand. Instead, the Ministry will prioritize obtaining the Pfizer vaccine. According to Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, the decrease in take-up of the AstraZeneca option has been sufficient to prompt health officials to review their policies and to change course. There are several COVID-19 vaccines available in Jamaica, and the Ministry wants to ensure there are enough second doses to meet the needs of people who have received a first dose. Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said the Ministry had expected the one-dose J&J vaccine to be more popular, but it also exhibits low take-up among Jamaicans, similar to the AstraZeneca brand. Jamaica will therefore not make any new orders for large quantities of the AstraZeneca or &J vaccines. At the same time, Jamaica has begun administering the Sinopharma vaccine, which is manufactured in China. The Chinese government donated 100,000 doses of this vaccine to Jamaica, and another 100,000 doses were purchased.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BARBADOS TO ESTABLISH NEW HERITAGE SITE AFTER CUTTING TIES TO BRITAIN
Barbados has commissioned architect David Adjaye to design a new heritage site. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s office issued a statement on December 3, 2021, that the new site will be located next to the ground in which the bodies of 570 West African victims of the transatlantic slave trade were discovered. The statement noted that the new Barbados Heritage District will be dedicated to investigating the lasting trauma and histories of enslavement. Work on the new project is scheduled to start on November 30, 2022, the first anniversary of Barbados severing ties with the British monarchy and taking on the status of a parliamentary republic. The Adjaye-designed museum will be situated next to the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial, which is on the site of a former sugar plantation near the nation’s capital of Bridgetown. The burial ground is the earliest known and biggest burial site of enslaved people in Barbados. The burials were discovered in the 1970s through the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
FAMILY OF MARCUS GARVEY ASKS U.S. PRESIDENT FOR HIS POSTHUMOUS PARDON
The family of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero, has called on United States President Joe Biden to issue a posthumous pardon for Garvey’s conviction on charges of mail fraud in 1923. Garvey was the founder and leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The charges stemmed from a mailing of ads for his Black Star Line shipping firm that depicted a ship that the company was in the process of acquiring but had not yet wholly owned. Garvey was fined “$1,000 and sentenced to five years in prison. The prison sentence was commuted later by President Calvin Coolidge, and Garvey was deported to Jamaica. According to Julius Garvey, 88, who is one of Marcus Garvey’s sons, President Biden stated in his inaugural address that the dream for justice should not be delayed any longer and that Garvey’s family is taking him at his word, hoping that the racial injustice experienced by his father over a century ago would be rectified.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA RANKS HIGHEST AMONG TELECOMS FOR ITS EASE OF FUNDS MOVEMENT
Jamaica is now considered to have a competitive advantage over Trinidad and Tobago among telecommunication companies that cite its east of funds movement, according to Digicel, a telecom with headquarters in Kingston. According to questions posed by the Jamaica Observer to telecoms on the issues of funds movement, respondents reported that Jamaica has a competitive advantage over other countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago, because Jamaica has a deeper market that is generally good for business. There are fewer dollars available in Trinidad and Tobago, according to Digicel, and there is a major difference in what can be achieved between its “grey market” and its official market.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ROBBIE SHAKESPEARE, INFLUENTIAL REGGAE BASSIST, DIES AT AGE 68
Robbie Shakespeare, who along with his long-time friend and partner Sly Dunbar formed the popular Riddim Twins duo Sly and Robbie, has died at the age of 68. The renowned bassist played with many major musicians during his 40-year-plus career, including Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and Grace Jones. He was ranked the 17th-greatest bass player in history by Rolling Stone magazine and was called “the wickedest bass by Michael Rose of Black Uhuru, one of reggae’s biggest bands of which Shakespeare was once a member. Rose called Shakespeare’s passing a big loss to music.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICANS ELAINE THOMPSON-HERAH, HANSLE PARCHMENT NOMINATED FOR SPORTSWOMAN, SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
THE RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation has nominated Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Hera and Hansle Parchment for the titles of Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, respectively. The virtual awards ceremony will occur on January 21, 2022, returning after its cancellation last year due to COVID-19. Thompson-Herah is the winner of the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year award in recognition for her back-to-back Olympic double sprint gold medals. Parchment won the gold medal in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Thompson-Herah shares the nomination with four other candidates, including her fellow track-and-field athletes Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Megan Tapper, and cricket player Stafanie Taylor. Parchment has been nominated alongside sprint hurdler Ronald Levey, motor racer Fraser McConnel, and cricketeer Nkrumah Bonner. Parchment and Thompson-Herah are also up for the coveted People’s Choice Performance of the Year Award: Parchment for his gold medal performance in Tokyo, and Thompson-Herah for her 10.54 run at the Wanda Diamond League in 2021.