Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is moving to make travel with Jamaica’s vaccination card more seamless by establishing a system for verifying the validity of the vaccination status of Jamaicans.
The Prime Minister’s announcement comes following concerns being raised after it emerged that the United Kingdom’s Government does not recognise the vaccination status of Jamaicans who travel to that country, based on new travel guidelines established.
“If you need to travel and you arrive in… the foreign country and you present your card, we will develop the appropriate system to ensure that there is the ability to validate that card so your destination of travel will be able to verify on the Jamaican database that your vaccination is accurate and appropriate and valid,” he informed.
“Whilst there are concerns, we wish to reassure the country that the way in which Jamaica has gone about its vaccination programme places us in good standing for this kind of validation to take place,” he continued.
Mr. Holness was speaking to journalists while visiting a vaccination blitz at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium on Thursday (September 23). The visit forms part of the ongoing national vaccine mobilisation and public education campaign, to encourage greater take-up of the vaccine.
Prime Minister Holness sought to reassure Jamaicans that the country’s vaccination programme meets the highest standard, noting that the vaccines administered to the more than 700, 000 Jamaicans inoculated, so far, are safe.
“It is not the vaccine. What the countries that are starting to place these requirements are saying is that they want to be certain about our vaccination process and they want to be sure that if someone turns up at their border to say hey, here is my vaccination card, that this card is not a fake or a fraudulent card, that they are able to verify that you actually got vaccinated,” he assured.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said, there are signs that more individuals are heeding the call to get vaccinated against the COVID-19. He informed that while the Government is not currently considering making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory, more Jamaicans are recognising that getting the jab will become inevitable.
“On the tour, it is clear that persons are getting the message that in order for them to be able to do things like travel, that vaccination is almost going to become mandatory,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Holness also visited the vaccination blitz site at the Troy High School in Southern Trelawny, where he lauded those who came out to get inoculated and urged them to become COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors in their communities.