The Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed the presence of the highly contagious Delta Variant of COVID-19 in Jamaica.
“We have received 40 results from the 60 samples sent to Caribbean Public Health Agency. Twenty-two (22) are positive for the Delta Variant,” revealed Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
“The epidemiology and laboratory teams are now doing further analysis to see if there is any particular significant factor related to the 22 identified. The public will be kept updated,” the Minister added.
The confirmation of the presence of the variant comes as Jamaica recorded 289 new COVID-19 infectious and confirmed 19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of infections now moves to 59,377 since the first case was confirmed last year while the total number of deaths stands at 1,339.
At the same time, hospitals across the country have exceeded their COVID-19 bed capacity while exhausted health care workers urge members of the public to stay vigilant in their practice of infection prevention and control measures, notably, mask wearing, maintaining a physical distancing from others and frequently washing and/or sanitising hands.
“It has never been more important for our people, including those 12 years and older, to get vaccinated,” encouraged Minister Tufton.
Jamaica will tomorrow receive its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine for which children and teens will be prioritised for vaccination. The donation will be delivered in three shipments over three months, with an initial 204,000 doses to make up the first shipment, which should originally have arrived on Tuesday (August 17). The arrival was delayed by Tropical Storm Grace.
“The Pfizer vaccine has been proven safe and is approved for use in children and adolescents. I urge the public’s support for our efforts, as we prioritise their vaccination in the coming days,” the Minister said.
To become vaccinated, members of the public are encouraged to make their appointments online at https://www.moh.gov.jm or call the Vaccination Call Centre at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683).
Once persons have received their appointment confirmation, they are to visit their vaccination site on time and with their TRN and government-issued identification or letter from a Justice of the Peace.
There are no appointment requirements for mobile vaccination sites, which are also being run islandwide. However, persons should turn up with their government-issued identification.