The shipment of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been made possible, courtesy of the generosity of the government of India with whom Jamaica enjoys a long diplomatic relationship and from whom the updated arrival information was recently received, the ministry said.
This first batch is to be followed by the March 11 arrival of 14,400 doses of the vaccine, procured under the COVAX Facility – a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and
equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines. Another 1.8 million doses, procured under a deal with the African Medical Supply Platform, is to follow.
The vaccination of Jamaicans is expected to begin 48 hours after the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines on Monday, guided by the principles of human well-being, equal respect, national equity, legitimacy and reciprocity, the ministry said.
“This is with the goal to reduce the death and disease burden associated with COVID-19; ensure non-discriminatory practices are incorporated in the allocation of vaccines; develop appropriate immunisation deployment strategy and distribution infrastructure; employ the best available science and expertise; and protect those who bear significant additional risks and burden of COVID-19, including frontline health care workers,” the ministry said.
The first phase of the island's vaccination efforts targets key populations, notably Government officials, health care workers, the elderly, the Jamaica Defence Force, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, as well as schools, the Department of Correctional Services and the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency.
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