Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says up to Wednesday (June 9), 28,355 persons had received the second dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) AstraZeneca vaccine.
Jamaica has now completed 13 weeks of vaccination and as at June 9, some 161,850 persons had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine islandwide. This represents approximately eight per cent of the targeted population (1.924 million).
Speaking at a virtual COVID Conversations press briefing on July 10, Dr. Tufton said the Ministry also continues to administer second doses for persons who are due.
“There are some persons who were due to receive in May who have not come to get the second dose and we are still analysing. There are some persons who felt that because they had the one day or so side effect, they have become afraid to take the second dose,” Dr. Tufton said.
“I think it’s important to stress that not taking the second dose renders the effect, the efficiency and the protection of the first dose redundant over time. To put it simply, you are going back to square one, which means you become as vulnerable as someone who has not taken the vaccine at all,” he added.
The first dose can offer protection for up to 120 days.
“It would be a waste for you to get three months’ protection and then… you’re back to square one,” Dr. Tufton said.
The island has started to record a lower trend in the daily new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with 20 being recorded on June 9.
Jamaica now has 49,110 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 989 deaths in Jamaica associated with the virus.