Tue | Oct 19, 2021

More than 220,000 Jamaicans have received COVID-19 vaccine

Published:Friday | June 18, 2021 | 4:29 PM
Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Melody Ennis, provides an update on the country’s vaccination programme during the virtual COVID Conversations press conference on June 17. (contributed photo)

More than 220,000 Jamaicans have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Of this number, 51,908 persons are fully vaccinated while 168,758 have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry, Dr Melody Ennis, provided the latest vaccination figures during the virtual COVID Conversations press conference on June 17.

“Please be reminded that persons are not fully protected until after they have received both doses and, of course, this is 14 days after the second dose. Even though you have received both doses and you are fully protected, the protocols remain in place,” she said.

The protocols include the wearing of masks, maintaining physical distance as well as hand sanitising and proper handwashing.

Ennis said that overall, 6.2 per cent of the population has received the vaccine so far.

“We do have a far way to go to get to herd immunity. However, we are quite grateful because in the vulnerable group, persons over the age of 80 years, we have vaccinated some 20 per cent of those persons and just over 10 per cent of those persons have also received their second dose,” she said.

Ennis informed that persons within the age range of 70 to 79 have received the majority of the vaccines, numbering 23 per cent of persons vaccinated.  The 60 to 69 age category accounts for approximately 17 per cent.

“The majority of persons are indeed in keeping with our programme to vaccinate the elderly, which are the persons mainly with the underlying conditions that have a worse outcome when they contract the COVID-19 illness,” Ennis noted.

She said that the Kingston and St Andrew region accounts for most of the vaccinated persons, followed by St Catherine, St James and Manchester.

“For Kingston and St Andrew, although they have vaccinated the lion's share of the population, there are still just about 12 per cent of persons being vaccinated and only about 3.3 per cent of the population of Kingston and St Andrew that are completely vaccinated,” she said.

She said the second-dose blitz activities this weekend are aimed at increasing the number of persons who have been vaccinated. The blitz activity will be undertaken in nine parishes at 22 sites.

Jamaica started its vaccination programme on March 10, 2021.

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