Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton says that approximately 1.4 million doses of vaccines – both double and single doses, are expected on the island over the next few months up to the end of September. The aim is to vaccinate close to one million Jamaicans within the next few months.
The first shipment of that number, containing 300,000 doses will arrive on the island this Friday. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines were donated by the United Kingdom. It will be the largest batch of vaccines to have arrived in Jamaica since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Foreign Affairs Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, said the donation is a sign of the strong ties between Jamaica and the UK.
The goal of the government is to deliver doses to 900,000 Jamaicans between now and the end of September. Dr. Tufton noted that as soon as new batches of vaccines arrive, the program will be opened up to all Jamaicans who qualify, aged 18 years and over.
“The target is to deliver doses to 900,000 Jamaicans between now and the end of September. It’s an ambitious target, but I believe with the support of the population and all of society, we can achieve that target,” he said.
He noted that once “we get to the 900,000, plus those who have already benefited, then we will be somewhere in the region of 50 percent of target, given that we are looking at 1.95 million or so”.
Dr Tufton said the government is also looking to introduce community initiatives that will assist with the uptake of the vaccines.