JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More than 1000 persons received the first of two doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on Saturday (April 10) at a vaccination blitz held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
  • The site is among 44 set up across the island as part of a mass vaccination exercise.
  • Those qualified to be inoculated on the day were people ages 60 years and over, staff members from the Department of Correctional Services, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Jamaica Customs, tourism workers, and teachers and other employees of educational institutions.

More than 1000 persons received the first of two doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on Saturday (April 10) at a vaccination blitz held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.

The site is among 44 set up across the island as part of a mass vaccination exercise.

Those qualified to be inoculated on the day were people ages 60 years and over, staff members from the Department of Correctional Services, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Jamaica Customs, tourism workers, and teachers and other employees of educational institutions.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who visited the facility to observe the vaccination process, said he is encouraged by the number of persons who came out.

“I think the team has been doing a very good job in Western Jamaica and indeed, across the country. Today, at the (Montego Bay) Convention Centre, we have the space and the capacity to do well over 1000 per day and we are on target to meet that 1000 plus,” he pointed out.

Dr. Tufton reminded the public that there are tremendous benefits to taking the vaccine including speeding up the country’s economic recovery.

“I am encouraging persons to come out and take advantage of this opportunity to get vaccinated. The aim of the programme, clearly, is to protect Jamaicans from all walks of life … but also very importantly, in anticipation of economic recovery,” he said.

He noted that the groups that are now being targeted for vaccination are “the critical sectors that drive economic activity, create jobs and also sectors that are most exposed by virtue of the type of service that they provide, such as the hotel industry.”

The Minister, who also visited vaccination sites at the Bahia Principe Hotel in St. Ann and the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny said that activities at those facilities were “generally smooth sailing”.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who joined Dr. Tufton at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, said that the hospitality workers have been very responsive to the vaccination programme, with a vast majority turning out to be inoculated.

He noted that vaccination “is one of the secure ways” of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and enabling a rebound of the tourism sector.
The mass vaccination exercise will continue until Tuesday, April 13 with the aim of inoculating 50,000 Jamaicans.

The Ministry of Health said that preliminary reports indicate that some 12,488 Jamaicans received were vaccinated on the first day of blitz.
Of the total, 38 per cent of vaccinations occurred in the Southeast Region, followed by Southern Region with 28 per cent, with the Western Region and Northeast Region contributed 19 per cent and 15 percent respectively, to the overall count.

Persons 40 years and older, who suffer from one or more comorbid conditions; persons 50 years and older; and members of the public who are employed to the transport sector, have now been added to the categories of persons, who can be vaccinated.

Members of the public, who fall in any of these cohorts, can register using the online portal on the Ministry’s website at www.moh.gov.jm; call the National Vaccination Hotline at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683) or register on spot at one of the blitz site across the island.

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