Sat | Sep 18, 2021

AFJ launches $30m COVID-19 vaccine fund

Published:Monday | April 12, 2021 | 12:15 AM

WESTERN BUREAU:

In its bid to inoculate 8,000 Hanoverians by Wednesday, April 20, the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) has pumped $30 million into a Jamaica vaccine fund.

The initiative kicks off on Monday, April 12, at the Hopewell Sports Centre, at Orchard in Hanover, lasting for two days, reopening on Friday, April 16 until Wednesday, April 20, with a weekend blitz.

The goal of the fund is to raise U$300,000 in order to vaccinate approximately 10,000 people, said the AFJ in a press release on the weekend.

The intention, the organisation said, iss to support the roll-out plan set out by the Government of Jamaica to urge accelerated action to end the pandemic.

The AFJ said it was working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) and the National Vaccine Commission to establish infrastructure for vaccine distribution in communities over two phases: the blitz site in Hanover and broader national support in the implementation plan for Phase Two.

Infrastructure has been put in place for vaccination to commence at 9 a.m. Monday, with free transportation for residents of Sandy Bay, Jericho, Cascade, Rejoin, Cold Spring, Pondside, Potty Hill, Retrieve, Montpelier, Point, Kenilworth, Medley, Woodsville, Askenish, Kingsvale, Lances Bay, Cousins Cove, Welcome, Ramble, Content, Maryland, Lucea, and Hopewell to the vaccination site.

Wendy Hart, AFJ president, acknowledged that ending the pandemic in Jamaica would require a coordinated and well-funded effort.

So far, the campaign is financed by a major sponsor in addition to AFJ discretionary funds and other private donations, Caron Chung, executive director at the organisation, revealed.

Hanoverians have welcomed the multimillion-dollar intervention, with Round Hill’s Managing Director Josef Forstmayr noting how critical it is for the initiative to have no glitches.

“We are in total support of AFJ, which has received substantial support from some of our members. The entire community is supporting this effort,” he told The Gleaner.

The vaccine fund is now open for donations, which can be made at AFJVaccineFund.org.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com