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Jamaica to purchase four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, targets 65 percent of population for immunization by 2022

By Caribbean News Global contributor

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness, says the government of Jamaica plans to procure four million doses of vaccines alongside plans to vaccinate 65 percent of the population by March 31, 2022.

“We are in very advanced discussions with some other potential sources, but I prefer not to say the details on those until we have a contract in hand and we know that those vaccines are scheduled to come to the country. But the objective is to get to four million doses by March 2022,” Dr Tufton said, at the weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday, March 2.

Meantime, the government of India generous donation of 50,000 vaccines are scheduled to arrive on the island Thursday, March 4, “we anticipate that to represent the first delivery of vaccines to our country and we look forward to that,” Dr Tufton said. “The ministry of health and wellness also expects some 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on or before March 11, which will represent the second shipment. Another 1.8 million doses are to be supplied to Jamaica, starting in April, under the African Medical Supply platform.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dunstan Bryan, addresses the virtual COVID-19 press conference on March 2 [ Photo: Donald De LA Haye]
Jamaica is rolling out a three-phase process for vaccination. The projection is approximately 975,000 vaccines by May 2021.

Phase one is categorised as vulnerable groups: “The principle behind phase one is that we are looking at the vulnerable groups, the persons who are in high contact areas or are coming into high risk for contamination. We are looking at the persons who are highly vulnerable for the negative outcome from infection, and so that is what underpins our phase-one implementation,” permanent secretary in the ministry of health and wellness, Dunstan Bryan advised at a virtual COVID-19 press briefing on March 2.

Phase two, implementations are those persons within the economy or the society that are essential to economic activity, and so we looked at the different economic groups and we will be prioritising those persons,” and phase three, general public/population segment that looks at persons within the general population who require vaccination,” he said.

The application for an appointment may be made via 1-888-ONE-LOVE, parish health departments.

“Based on our surveys that we have done, we are getting around 30 to 45 percent of the persons who say they will take the vaccine; we have another 25 to 30 percent of the population who say we are not sure, we will think about it, we want some more information, and then we have another 25 to 30 percent who say definitely that they will not be taking the vaccine,” Bryan noted. “In terms of setting a target, we are looking for 65 percent of that population that we will reach and when we do the 65 percent of the total population, based on the numbers that we have right now, we are looking at approximately 248,000 persons in phase one that we would attempt to reach over the period,” he said.




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