After telling a Falmouth, Trelawny audience (Saturday, November 6) that Jamaica is on the verge of administering one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Minister of and Health Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, on Sunday, November 7, declared via his Facebook page that the mission has been accomplished.
“Almost three weeks ahead of target, I am happy to announce that we have hit the one million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered,” the Minister wrote on his personal Facebook page on Sunday.
“Thanks to every Jamaican that has received their COVID-19 vaccine and to those who have encouraged others to do so as well. To the healthcare workers [big up yourselves]. You have led the charge in this fight – working tirelessly to ensure that every person is protected and has a fighting chance. A big thank you also to our partners in the private sector. I encourage all of us to continue this effort to get Jamaicans vaccinated as this is the best way to save lives and restore normality. Get vaccinated and let’s get back to life!”
The Minister, who on Saturday was in Falmouth participating in a house-to-house vaccination tour, said he is heartened by the kind of response the Ministry has been getting from “the vaccination blitzes”, adding that “this is certainly a step in the right direction.”
“Reaching one million doses is a psychologically significant development,” Dr. Tufton noted.
“What it shows is that more people are coming on board…probably 23% to 24% of the targeted population would have been fully vaccinated and we are now moving ahead and in the coming weeks we will continue to push forward in getting as many persons vaccinated as possible.”
Dr. Tufton, in the meantime, said he is particularly concerned about the nation’s children and what they have had to endure over the past 18-months – the interruption of their studies and having to be forced to resort to online classes.
“One of the most concerning elements of COVID-19 is to the extent that our children have been left out of the formal education system in terms of face-to-face classes. And while we have done our best in providing for them an electronic platform, the truth is that it has been very-very difficult for them…and I have seen so many of them suffering consequently from not getting the attention that they deserve,” the Minister added.
“We really want to appeal to the parents and guardians to give as much support as possible, especially when we administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to the children, to try and get them back into the schools. This is an absolutely important imperative as part of the overall trend. We also want to encourage the rest of Jamaica to do likewise.”
The Minister also reiterated that following directives from the World Health Organization, booster shots (third doses) will be available for persons with serious illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other pre-existing medical conditions.
This he said will be given to those who have had the two doses of the Astra Zeneca or Pfizer and in the case of the singular Johnson and Johnson… “one additional shot.”
“It’s no longer the case where persons don’t have access to the vaccines…It’s no longer where it’s just a Ministry of Health issue. It’s a case of all of us coming together and do what is right in the interest of Jamaica. We have to move forward where we are all on the same page, knowing that getting vaccinated is our best chance to getting back to normality.”
WRITTEN BY: GARWIN DAVIS
SOURCE: JIS news