#Kingston, Jamaica, February 23, 2021 – Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Government has the resources to secure vaccines for some two million Jamaicans. These vaccines are to be made available subject to the availability of suppliers.
Minister Tufton gave this update during the weekly COVID Conversations Press Conference, which was broadcast from the offices of the Ministry of Health and Wellness in New Kingston, on Thursday (February 18).
The budget regarding this was announced in Parliament on Thursday (February 18).
“We continue to work to secure COVID-19 vaccines through our arrangements, starting with COVAX, which we have spoken to at length in the Parliament and elsewhere,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Minister emphasised that the Government is not dependent on COVAX alone.
“Currently, we are expecting the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by SK-Bio (Republic of Korea) and Serum Institute of India… as well as COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Johnson and Johnson, and the Moderna vaccine,” Dr. Tufton said.
“We have allotted over US$34 million (over J$5 billion) for these facilities and in addition to COVAX, we are also in talks with India, Moderna, and the private sector and the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), through CARICOM,” he added.
Jamaica will be receiving these vaccines over time, beginning in February and extending to May, 2021. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is expecting 50,000 doses by the end of February; 193,568 doses by the end of March; 600,000 doses by the end of April, and 100,000 doses by May.
As it relates to the demand for the vaccines, the estimated population for phase one is some 440,074 and in phase two, the target population is over 535,000 persons.
Contact: Ainsworth Morris
Caption: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (left), speaks at the Ministry’s weekly COVID Conversation Press Conference, held at the offices of the Ministry in New Kingston, on Thursday (February 18). With the Minister is National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster Kerr.
PHOTO: MARK BELL