New arrival date for COVID-19 vaccine shipment from India
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting that Jamaica will now receive its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, March 8 - a few days later than the March 4 arrival date that was previously announced.
The shipment of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were donated by India.
According to the health ministry, this first batch is to be followed by the March 11 arrival of 14,400 doses of the vaccine, procured under the COVAX Facility — a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines.
Another 1.8 million doses, procured under a deal with the African Medical Supply Platform, is to follow.
The vaccination of Jamaicans is expected to begin 48 hours after the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines on Monday.
The health ministry said the distribution will be "guided by the principles of human well-being, equal respect, national equity, legitimacy and reciprocity. This is with the goal to reduce the death and disease burden associated with COVID-19; ensure
non-discriminatory practices are incorporated in the allocation of vaccines; develop appropriate immunisation deployment strategy and distribution infrastructure; employ the best available science and expertise; and protect those who bear significant additional risks and burden of COVID-19, including frontline health care workers."
The first phase of the island's vaccination efforts targets key populations, notably Government officials, health care workers, the elderly, the Jamaica Defence Force, the Jamaica Constabulary
Force, as well as schools, the Department of Correctional Services and the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency.
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