Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Melody Ennis, is appealing for citizens in western Jamaica to get the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine once it becomes available.
She said that the vaccine is critical in reducing the transmission of infection, thereby ensuring that the economy can fully reopen and that a normal way of life can resume.
“It appears that it is vaccine that will tip the scale back to where it ought to be where we have healthy people, who are able to travel, enjoy sports, get back to work, socialise, go to church, etc. You should all go out once the vaccines are here and get vaccinated,” she urged.
Dr. Ennis was addressing a virtual COVID-19 vaccination sensitisation session staged by the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) on Tuesday (March 2), to build trust and dispel myths surrounding vaccination.
Stakeholders across various sectors participated in the session, where they were provided with information about the vaccines being procured by the Government, the first shipment of which is expected to arrive in the island this week.
Dr. Ennis informed that more than 70 fixed sites have already been identified across the country to begin administering the first phase of the vaccine.
“We won’t start with all of them at once, of course, because we are not getting all the vaccines at once, but we are going to be doing it on a phased basis at key sites,” she noted.
She said that as the Government procures more vaccines other sites will open up.
Healthcare personnel will be among the first to be vaccinated, along with the elderly, non-healthcare front-line workers, government officials, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), correctional officers, infirmary residents and staff, and teachers.
The WRHA has planned another virtual vaccine sensitisation session for Thursday (March 4) at 8:30 a.m.