Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity and reproductive rates are showing very good reduction signs.
Addressing a virtual media update on the COVID-19 and vaccination implementation programme on September 14, the Minister said with the downward trend, this is an indication that the control measures are working and delivering their targeted expectations, such as a decrease in hospitalisations.
“We are going in the right direction in terms of it coming down, which is a good sign, which means that some of the measures and the responses to the measures are working,” Dr. Tufton noted.
He said that Jamaica would exceed its target of administering 700,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of September, which would be a good achievement.
The Minister pointed out that the more the population is vaccinated, the less likely persons will end up in hospital, even if they catch the virus, and the “less we are in hospital is the less likely we will die, so vaccination is key to that process”.
He noted that the national vaccination programme is being expanded as the Ministry moves to include private operators of medical facilities and pharmacies, as well as with the mobile units that have been “tested and demonstrated to be effective”.
For her part, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, said that “we have to break that co-relation where even if we see a positivity rate going up, we don’t see the hospitalisation going up, and we don’t see the deaths going up, and the answer to that is vaccination”.
The Ministry is expanding its vaccination access points with invitations to the private sector, through requests for quotation (RFQ), for their participation in the initiative. The RFQ is aimed at small, medium and large enterprises that may be faith-based, community-based or existing health facilities such as pharmacies, hospitals, health centres or doctors’ offices.