JIS News

The Government’s second coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Blitz is to be held this Saturday (April 3), at the National Arena, in St. Andrew.

The blitz is the mass vaccination plan being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to vaccinate 1,000 persons in a day at a single location.

Persons now being targeted for vaccination islandwide are those aged 75 years and over, with a reserve list to include members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade and persons over 60 years.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who made the announcement in the House of Representatives on March 30, said that for this exercise, measures are being put in place to increase the number of persons over 75  years old who get registered and come out to be inoculated.

This is in light of the first blitz outcome, also held at the National Arena, which saw only 662 registrations, and 647 persons being vaccinated.

“We are introducing a second variable to these blitz sites, which we hope to standardise across the country, and that is to leverage the political organisations in the respective geographic political constituencies or spaces to identify persons who meet the particular age cohort and to assist the process, working with the electoral office, to bring those persons out to the location,” Dr. Tufton said in his statement to the House.

He explained that for this Saturday’s blitz, five Members of Parliament in Kingston and St. Andrew will be assisting in this new approach. They will work along with Councillors and the Electoral Office of Jamaica to bring out a certain number of persons aged 75 years and over to be inoculated.

“What it will mean, is that each of those MPs will bring out our target of 100 citizens in their constituencies 75 years and over and we will take from the official appointment list otherwise.  Those persons…will assist in registering those persons. They will be assisted in terms of mobilisation to take those persons out and we will accommodate through the appointment system to ensure that we meet that target,” the Minister  said.

He noted that the option to call the National Vaccination Hotline at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683) or to register online through the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ website at  www.moh.gov.jm, will always be available, but additional support is now being embedded in that process.

Dr. Tufton informed that the intention of the Health and Wellness Ministry is to host 25 vaccination blitzes over the next three months.

The locations for the vaccination blitz planned for the weekend of April 9 will include: the National Arena in Kingston and St Andrew; Celebration Church, Portmore; the Social Development Commission (SDC) Office, St. Thomas; Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James;  Lucea Anglican Church, Hanover; Denbigh Show Ground, Clarendon;  St. Mark’s Anglican Parish Church, Manchester;  St. Matthews Anglican Parish Church, St. Elizabeth; Bahia Principe Resort, St. Ann;  Trelawny Multi-Purpose Centre, Trelawny;  Gayle Civic Centre, St Mary; and  Folly Oval, Portland.

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton advised those who have been vaccinated, that they must receive the second dose to be fully inoculated.

“With this in mind, you must continue to observe all the infection prevention and control measures. These include mask wearing, maintaining social distance of six feet or more, exercise frequent handwashing or use hand sanitisers. The provisions under the Disaster Risk Management Orders must also be adhered to,” he emphasised.

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