Sat | Dec 9, 2023

Public health nurse first to get COVID vaccine in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | March 10, 2021 | 8:51 AM
Public Health Nurse Marcia Thomas Yettman receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Fiona Ellis as Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton looks on.

Public health nurse Marcia Thomas Yetman was the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Jamaica this morning.

She was inoculated at the Good Samaritan Inn in St Andrew by public health nurse Fiona Ellis.

Thomas Yetman is among a host of frontline workers who are receiving the vaccine today.

"I am very surprised, I am afraid of injections," Thomas Yetman said after coming out of observation.

Though her mind was previously occupied by this fear, the 55-year-old, who has been serving since 1994, said her apprehension was quelled by the importance of the need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Denise Eldemire Shearer, Professor of Public Health and Ageing at the University of the West Indies, Mona, was also inoculated.

As patron of the National Council for Senior Citizens, Eldemire-Shearer is strongly imploring Jamaicans, especially the elderly, to take the vaccine. 

"Older people have had to stay at home for one year now, this is the start in getting them vaccinated towards a normal life," said the 68-year-old. 

Former Prime Ministers P.J. Patterson and Bruce Golding as well as Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, were also among persons at the facility to be vaccinated.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, was present to witness today’s proceedings.

The first 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived on the island on Monday.

The Good Samaritan Inn is one of some 74 vaccination centres islandwide. 

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or