The Ministry of Health and Wellness on Monday (September 27) signed agreements with 11 private entities to administer the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines to Jamaicans across the island.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said that the Government is pleased to partner with the private participants on the national vaccination programme, noting that the move will increase the number of vaccination sites available to the public.
He noted that the entities, which include private hospitals and health centres, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, are “very qualified” technically and otherwise to administer the vaccines, which will be free of charge to the public.
“People can just go there and get their vaccination,” he said.
Under the terms of the agreements, the entities will not only be responsible for administering COVID-19 vaccines and processing vaccination registration but also the provision of adequate staffing to accomplish these tasks and address client questions and concerns.
“They are to counsel vaccine clients about the COVID-19 vaccines before vaccination, to do observation post-administration of the vaccine, and have systems and protocols in place to handle possible urgent adverse events following vaccination,” Dr. Tufton said.
They are also required to secure enough vaccine-associated supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE), maintain vaccination records and documentation, as well as provide a completed Ministry vaccination card to every vaccine recipient, and dispose of waste associated with the services, the Minister further outlined.
The 11 private partners, which are the first under the Ministry’s plan to expand vaccination access point, are Vein Centres of Jamaica, Health Plus Associates, Online Medics, Fontana Limited, Portmore Health Complex, Windsor Wellness Centre, Baywest Wellness Hospital, Winchester Surgical and Medical Institute/Winchester Laboratory, Hospiten, Medical Associates, and the private practice of Dr. Michelle Holt at Nuttall Medical Centre.