Mon | Jun 14, 2021

50,000 targeted in four-day vaccination blitz

Published:Friday | April 9, 2021 | 4:54 PM
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, speaking at the Ministry’s weekly virtual COVID Conversations on April 8, 2021. Jamaica on Thursday received 75,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the African Medical Supply Platform - Contributed photo.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is looking to administer 50,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at blitz events across Jamaica over the next four days.

Targeted are persons aged 60 years and over, teachers and other employees of educational institutions, persons employed to Jamaica Customs, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Jamaica Fire Brigade, Department of Correctional Services, and the tourism sector, and those in the priority groups, who were previously called upon to become vaccinated.

“Between Friday and Tuesday of next week, we will establish a number of blitz sites around the country… and these sites will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In fact, we have 44 sites that have been set up or are being set up to accommodate vaccination programmes across the country,” said Portfolio Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, while addressing the Ministry’s weekly virtual ‘COVID Conversations’ on Thursday.

Persons in the targeted categories can book an appointment to receive the vaccine by calling the Ministry’s toll-free line at 888-663-5683 or by visiting its website at www.moh.gov.jm.

Tufton said that approximately 1,700 persons, primarily in the 75 years and older age category, were vaccinated at two blitzes held at the National Arena in St Andrew over the last two weekends.

“We learnt a lot from that experience and we are now moving to ensure that we move now to a national rollout, which is very important because, clearly, it is our intention to get as many persons as possible vaccinated to achieve the herd immunity that is so critical,” he noted.

Jamaica on Thursday received 75,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the African Medical Supply Platform, which will be utilised in the vaccination blitzes.

Tufton, who was at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston for the arrival, appealed for more persons to register and turn up to receive the vaccination at the upcoming events.

“We would like to see more take-up… we’re going to have to play a more effective role in communicating the importance of the vaccine, but I would say, so far so good. There is still a long road to travel, but we have started well,” he noted.

Tufton commended the health workers, noting that “they have applied themselves, they have adjusted where necessary... they have really administered courtesy and a level of expertise that we have to appreciate as a people”.

Persons with appointments for vaccination within the hours of curfew during the upcoming weekend will be allowed to travel with proper identification and confirmation details of their appointment.

As of Wednesday, approximately 47,700 Jamaicans had been vaccinated through the Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Programme, which started on March 10.

- JIS News 

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 onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.