‘Funeral home’ sends strong vaccine message’ - Get vaccinated now ... if not, see you soon’

September 24, 2021

"Don't get vaccinated," read a message posted on the side of a Wilmore funeral home truck parked along the side of a road in North Carolina, USA. There is no Wilmore funeral home.

The printed message, though, represents a strategy by an advertising company, BooneOakley, to get people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Calvin Lyn, the president of the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers (JACE) and Funeral Directors, thinks the strategy is brilliant.

"I know it is sarcasm as if to say don't get vaccinated and we will get you to bury. It a very powerful message," Lyn said.

Vaccine hesitancy

Doctors worldwide have been urging people to take the COVID-19 vaccine to not only lower hospital admissions and save lives, but to end the pandemic. However, the combination of vaccine hesitancy and resistance has made the task of getting vast numbers of the world's population vaccinated difficult. In Jamaica, for example, where the government has indicated that the target of vaccinating 65 per cent of the population of approximatively three million people will have to be increased, the health ministry has only managed to inoculate 715,000 persons.

Lyn, an undertaker, said that too many persons are dying from COVID-19. He wants people to take the jab.

"I personally am pleading with everyone to get vaccinated because while I am in the funeral business, my wish is that no one else will die from this killer disease," said Lyn, adding that he and all his staff members are vaccinated.

"It will save your lives," he said about the vaccines. "I really don't want to see anyone dying from this disease."

"Just recently I met with a young man who lost both his parents from COVID-19 and I shed a few tears because the guy is someone I knew. I have another wife and husband's bodies to deal with, and a brother and sister and a father and son who nuh bury yet, and it's hard. This is not Anansi days when they say things are better in twos. It's very terrible. My bottom line is that persons should get vaccinated and stay alive," the undertaker said.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been using ads in the printed media to point to the difference that vaccination makes in saving lives. It said that there were 21 COVID-19 related deaths in August 2020, and 1,961 COVID related hospitalisation. There were 366 COVID-19 related deaths this August and 23,782 hospitalisation as a result of the virus.

"Numbers don't lie. Don't become a statistic. Get vaccinated!" the health ministry said.

Wilmore funeral home, on its website, has an equally strong message: "Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon."

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