Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asserted that the Government is committed to breaking the cycle of improper distribution of scarce public goods by exercising fairness and integrity in distributing the COVID-19 vaccines.
Speaking today (Friday, March 19, 2021), in a virtual Vaccine Town Hall at the Office of the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government takes the missing vaccine very seriously.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness emphasized that a full investigation has been launched to determine whether there was any negligence, malfeasance, deliberate theft, or corruption involved.
At the same time, Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, outlined that vaccines must be stored at prescribed temperatures; therefore, stolen vaccines can’t last long, and their efficiency will be compromised.
The Prime Minister underscored that the country must have faith, trust, and confidence, not only in the safety of the vaccine but also in the equitable, safe, and efficient nature of the distribution of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister stated that to obtain more vaccines to continue the inoculation process, the Government has focused its efforts on commercial negotiations as well as multilateral and bilateral arrangements.
“Our strategic objective now is to pursue very diligently, our commercial negotiations between Government and producers; our multilateral arrangements which are already set and established with COVAX and the African Medical Supply Platform, and our bilateral arrangements with even more intensity,” said Prime Minister Holness.
This strategy, the Prime Minister noted, should increase our small supplies, and rapidly expand the distribution of the vaccine.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness encouraged opinion leaders to use their influence to get the people to follow the infection prevention and control measures.
“We all have to be committed to taking the vaccine. I again appeal to those persons who have the public’s ear and trust, to use your influence in the right way to get people on board with the infection prevention and control measures and get vaccinated. We must exercise a great deal of responsibility for our destiny as a people, and that is how we will, together as one family, recover stronger, better, faster, fairer, and more sustainably,” said Prime Minister Holness.