“Do not get vaccinated,” reads a message posted on the side of a Wilmore funeral home truck parked along a road in North Carolina, United States. There is no Wilmore funeral home.
The printed message, however, represents a strategy by an advertising company, BooneOakley, to get people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Calvin Lyn, president of the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers (JACE) and Funeral Directors, thinks the strategy is brilliant.
“I know it’s sarcasm like saying don’t get the shot and we’ll get you buried. It’s a very powerful message,” Lyn said.
Doctors around the world have urged people to take the COVID-19 vaccine not only to reduce hospitalizations and save lives, but also to end the pandemic. However, the combination of reluctance and resistance to vaccination has made it difficult to vaccinate large numbers of the world’s population. In Jamaica, for example, where the government has indicated that the goal of immunizing 65% of the population of about three million people will need to be increased, the health ministry has only managed to immunize 715,000 people.
Lyn, an undertaker, said too many people are dying from COVID-19. He wants people to take the jab.
“Personally, I am begging everyone to get vaccinated because while I am in the funeral business my wish is that no one else dies from this deadly disease,” Lyn said, adding that he and all of the members of its staff were vaccinated.
“It will save your life,” he said of the vaccines. “I really don’t want to see anyone die of this disease.”
“Just recently I met a young man who lost both his parents to COVID-19 and shed a few tears because he’s someone I knew. father and son who have not yet buried, and it is difficult. This is not the time of Anansi when they say things are better for two. It is very terrible. My result is that people should get vaccinated and stay alive, ”said the undertaker.
The Department of Health and Welfare uses advertisements in print media to highlight the difference vaccination makes in saving lives. He said there were 21 COVID-19-related deaths in August 2020 and 1,961 COVID-related hospitalizations. There were 366 COVID-19-related deaths in August and 23,782 hospitalizations from the virus.
“The 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.”