Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says that more coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are expected in the island this week.
“We will see vaccines coming in every few weeks or, at least, every month going into the New Year,” he said, noting that the shipments will add to the approximately 1.1 million doses of vaccines received to date.
He was speaking during a press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Friday (September 10), where he provided an update on the Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation Programme.
The press conference was attended by executives of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), who endorsed the initiative.
The occasion was also used to announce a partnership being forged between the Ministry and JCTU to facilitate expanded COVID-19 sensitisation and vaccination of thousands of employees in the workplace.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said the Government has been diligent in ensuring that all COVID-19 vaccines acquired are World Health Organization (WHO)-approved.
The brands secured, thus far, are the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson.
“We have never thought about bringing in vaccines that are not approved, that have not gone through clinical trials, and that have not been examined by the experts at the highest level and, therefore, given the seal of approval as being safe for our people to take,” he reassured.
Dr. Tufton noted that the strength of Jamaica’s immunisation programme, over several decades, has laid the foundation for the fight against diseases, and has contributed to the country’s notable Human Development Index Life Expectancy out-turn.
“We have kept that [high] standard as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s something we want to reassure the country about, and persons who may have concerns or questions,” Dr. Tufton added.
Jamaica has, to date, recorded 76,987 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 50,077 recoveries; 24,659 active cases; and 1,736 deaths.
As at September 13, Kingston and St. Andrew accounted for the highest number of cases – 19,221, followed by St. Catherine – 13,913, and St. James – 7,614.