JIS News

Jamaica is slated to get another 370,000 doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility.

The provision, which is expected to arrive in the next few weeks, is part of more than three million doses being dispatched by COVAX to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) this week for deployment to member countries that have, to date, vaccinated less than 20 per cent of their populations against COVID-19.

Jamaica is among five PAHO member states that will benefit from the latest provision. The others include Guatemala, Haiti, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

This was disclosed by PAHO Assistant Director, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., during the entity’s COVID-19 digital media briefing on Wednesday (October 27).

Dr. Barbosa advised that details of the latest vaccine provisions have been conveyed to the beneficiary countries to enable their preparations to receive and administer the doses, “and to make sure that [they] are able to protect their most vulnerable groups and save lives”.

He further indicated that vaccine deliveries are expected to pick up during the final months of 2021, “so we can continue to address one of the biggest challenges affecting our region – vaccine inequity”.

“COVAX has agreed that for November and December, vaccine allotments will be sent to the countries with the lowest coverage. This will ensure more protection for those countries. We are working, together with COVAX, to have these countries [prioritised],” the Assistant Director said.

PAHO data show that nearly 44 per cent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have completed their COVID-19 immunisation course.

“Thanks in large part to vaccine donations, made bilaterally or through COVAX, twice as many people in Latin America and the Caribbean are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 [now] than in August of this year,” Dr. Barbosa noted.

He pointed out that while more than half of the people in member countries remain unprotected, “our region has done a great job at accelerating immunisation coverage over just a few months”.

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