Thu | Jul 29, 2021

Second-dose chaos hits some vax sites

Published:Thursday | June 24, 2021 | 12:12 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter

Hundreds of persons who turned up at the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre at The University of the West Indies, Mona, for their second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab yesterday left disappointed and angry when they were denied.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness had asked person over 50 to come out for their vaccines Wednesday, having suspended inoculation activities on Monday and Tuesday because of shortage.

Joan Francis was among those ruing the chaos.

She arrived at the medical centre minutes to 8 a.m. and was greeted by a long line of persons already waiting, hoping to be vaccinated.

“When people tried to enter at one stage, they closed the gate. It was just chaotic. No planning went into this thing,” she told The Gleaner.

“The first time, it was a transparent process – the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force personnel) and persons from Ministry of Health with signage on their garments,” she said.

When asked if anyone was vaccinated during her time at the location, Francis said, “Not a soul.”

Some time after noon, persons were still trying to get information.

A sign at the gate read: “No vaccine available.”

A man, who turned up because it was his due date for his second shot, said that he was not aware of the age range that would qualify to be administered the second shot yesterday.

“I left work and came here and nothing. Today is the 23rd, and I am due my second shot. They say people not making the effort to come and get vaccinated, but when you show up, is all sort of nonsense,” he complained.

130 to be vaccinated

Francis told The Gleaner that she heard that only 130 persons would get their second shot and that their names would be called.

“Nobody was able to say who were the 130 they would administer. They indicated that it was 130 persons from the line and they would call names,” Francis said.

Dr Denise Eldemire-Shearer, professor of public health and ageing at The University of the West Indies, Mona, could not be reached up to press time.

At the Good Samaritan Inn near National Heroes Circle, things appeared to be moving more smoothly as persons were able to get vaccinated with the second dose as police personnel kept a watchful eye.

A health ministry representative told The Gleaner that although a crowd had gathered, they were dealt with quickly and seamlessly.

Our news team was told that persons who turned up at that location had been contacted and told to do so.

There was a signage at the location clearly stating that the day’s proceedings was for persons over the age of 50.

The limited supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines also prevented some people in Clarendon from getting their second jabs yesterday at the May Pen Hospital.

Medical officer of health for Clarendon, Dr Kimberly Scarlett-Campbell, told The Gleaner that the parish had received only 43 doses for yesterday’s exercise, which was insufficient.

“We just had to give based on the availability of vaccines in the parish,” Scarlett-Campbell said.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com