Three weeks into the COVID-19 vaccination programme, nearly 42,000 persons in Jamaica have so far received their first of two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Speaking at a press conference this morning Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said as of Wednesday, 41,901 persons have been inoculated representing 88 per cent of the target for the month.
Dr Melody Ennis, director of family services in the Ministry, pointed out that more women than men are getting inoculated, despite the fact that more men are dying from COVID-19.
“We know our men, once they get COVID-19 they don’t necessarily do well,” Ennis stated.
The Ministry will host another vaccination blitz on Saturday, April 3 targeting persons 75 and older as the Government seeks to cut the number of deaths resulting from COVID-19.
Tufton had been worried that the inoculation programme could be starved of vaccines given recent restrictions placed on exports in several countries including India.
However, a shipment of vaccines from the African Medical Supplies Platform is expected to arrive in Jamaica as early as this weekend, Tufton disclosed.
“We have 75,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the African Medical Supplies Platform and that should, if not already in transit, be moving from across the world through the Caribbean to Jamaica.”
Twenty thousand doses of Moderna vaccines are also expected to arrive in Jamaica soon.
And in early April, the country should get 26,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility.
Tufton said the supplies would allow for the continuation of the vaccination programme for at least four weeks.
In the meantime, Jamaica on Wednesday recorded 306 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 39,543 with a positivity rate 30.1 per cent.
There are 20,950 active cases in the island.
And there were three additional fatalities, pushing the tally to 599.
– Romario Scott