The Government of Jamaica has received a shipment of 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines under the COVAX Facility.
Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to obtain vaccines procured through COVAX.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Representative, Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi were on hand to witness the arrival of the shipment at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Monday (March 15).
Dr. Tufton thanked the WHO/PAHO for helping with the procurement of the vaccines.
“COVAX, as you may know, is the globally coordinated mechanism to provide equitable access, risk pooling, and affordable options for all participating countries,” he noted.
The 14,400 doses add to the 50,000 doses donated by the Government of India, which arrived on March 8, to facilitate the rollout of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme on Wednesday (March 10).
Minister Tufton said that “with these additional doses, Jamaica will continue to vaccinate members of the priority groups, including healthcare workers, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), senior parliamentarians and elders in institutions”.
He again reassured Jamaicans that these vaccines are safe.
“The AstraZeneca completed phases one, two and three clinical trials and after all documentation was submitted and reviewed by the WHO, it received emergency use authorisation on February 15, 2021,” he noted.
As at Sunday (March 14), a total of 12,099 persons were inoculated across the island, representing 71 per cent of the 17,050 target for week one.