JIS News

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says that all Jamaicans will have access to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

“All will be given an opportunity, within the protocols, to access the vaccine. That is the principle that the Government and the Ministry will ensure prevails right across the board,” he noted, while addressing a recent virtual press conference.

The vaccine programme, which got under way on Wednesday (March 10), is being undertaken in three phases.

Phase one is targeted at vulnerable groups, and this includes healthcare workers, non-health front-line workers (police, army, correctional services, customs and immigration officers), Parliamentarians, persons over 60 years and institutionalised persons.

Phase two, to follow thereafter, will target persons deemed essential to economic activity and will entail other public-sector workers, hotel workers, the transportation sector, manufacturing sector, banking sector, and the agricultural sector.

The general public will be vaccinated during phase three.

Dr. Tufton said that the programme, which is aimed at inoculating approximately two million persons over 11 months, “is one of the most ambitious and aggressive public health initiatives to be undertaken”.

Stating that all stakeholders are integral in the undertaking, Dr. Tufton noted that the private sector has been engaged to accelerate the procurement and administration of the vaccine.

“We recognize, fully, the need for all hands to be on deck and to engage all stakeholders to play a role in probably what is the most significant mobilisation programmes that this country has ever seen in recent memory,” he noted.

The vaccination plan can be viewed at https://www.moh.gov.jm/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Interim-COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan.pdf.

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