Monica Robotham gives her family ‘a fighting chance’ at Vax Day

Jamaica Observer September 08, 2021

Via Jamaica Gleaner

AFTER LOSING two loved ones to COVID-19 this year, Monica Robotham is on a mission to ensure that she encourages and mobilises as many people as possible to get vaccinated against the virus. Three members of Robotham’s family were among the hundreds of persons who came out to get vaccinated at the second Sagicor Group Jamaica Vax Day last Thursday.

“I try my best to do my part and to mobilise as many people as I can so that they can get their vaccines, because we need to beat this virus,” said Robotham, a Sagicor financial adviser, who brought her 69-year-old brother, Eli Gardner; 83-year-old grand-aunt Emma Smart; and 60-year-old niece Veronica Stewart to be vaccinated.

Robotham shared that she got vaccinated months ago herself, as she was very eager to get her shot as soon as she could.

“I was even trying to get it before it was my time. I tried several places and they turned me back,” she admitted light-heartedly. “I lost a very good friend of mine to COVID-19 here in Jamaica, and my niece’s husband also succumbed to the disease overseas.”

Robotham shared that her brother was initially very hesitant, but she patiently reasoned with him and shared factual information about the disease and the vaccine until he came around. 

“He has young people in his household, and even grandchildren, so I said, ‘If you won’t do it for you, then at least do it for them’, because you not only protect yourself, but you protect the people around you,” Robotham said empathetically.

The devoted Christian believes it is part of civic and religious duty to help to dispel some of the myths about the vaccines and encourage other churchgoers to get the jab. The First Baptist Church member has helped several congregants, especially the elderly, to get to vaccination centres in the past months.

While her other two relatives were not very hesitant, Robotham said they were not very keen on going out to get vaccinated because of the large crowds they saw at other vaccination centres, so the Sagicor Vax Days made the process much more convenient.

“When I heard that Sagicor was a site where vaccines were being administered, and we could register up to four of our family members, I jumped at the opportunity to take them for the jab, especially my grand-aunt since she’s so elderly,” she said happily. “The process has been very smooth.”

Over the two vaccination days on August 27 and September 2, the Sagicor Group, in partnership with the Private Sector Vaccine Initiative (PSVI), vaccinated over 1,100 team members and their registered guests with their choice of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Robotham vowed that she will continue to mobilise her friends and family to get the jab, and encouraged all Jamaicans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to give themselves a better shot at beating COVID-19.

“Give yourself a fighting chance,” she urged. “Yes, there is chance that you can get vaccinated and still get the disease, and things can happen, but you have a much better chance of surviving if you are vaccinated. At least give yourself a fighting chance.”