Jamaica Receives First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines from India

Jamaica vaccines
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) and India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui. Photo: Christopher Tufton/Twitter

Jamaica has received its first shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines that were donated from the government of India.

The 50,000 doses of vaccines arrived on Monday, March 8, at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, accepted the vaccines from India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui. Also on hand were the Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith.

Healthcare workers across the island have already begun scheduling their appointments to get the shot later this week.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness said it also expects some 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on or before March 11.

Another 1.8 million doses are to be supplied to Jamaica, starting in April, under the African Medical Supply platform.

The Government also announced, previously, that they have the resources to secure vaccines for some two million Jamaicans. They say they want to vaccinate 65% percent of the population by March 22.

The vaccination program will be rolled out in three phases: phase one is categorized as vulnerable groups; phase two, essential to economic activity; and phase three, the general public.

The arrival of the vaccines come one day after the island recorded 878 new cases of COVID-19, the highest one-day total that has been reported on the island thus far.

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