Prime Minister Andrew Holness has appealed to countries with stocks of vaccines that they will not utilize before the expiry date, to make them available to other countries like Jamaica, that will rapidly use them to inoculate the population.
“To those countries that have the supplies that they may not be able to utilize before the expiration date because of their take-up rate, make them available by loaning them to us, and we will place our orders and return to you. We all must move towards recovery on an even keel. It cannot be that some people are fully vaccinated and ready to recover, and others are suffering and struggling and can’t participate in recovery,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Prime Minister also noted that the Government has made the requisite budgetary allocations to purchase vaccines.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness highlighted that Jamaica has shown the capacity to mobilize mass vaccination campaigns over a short period as seen with the recent vaccination blitz. He noted that on Monday, April 12, over 25,000 persons received the first dose of the vaccine, bringing the total number of persons to over 100,000 persons.
The vaccination blitz was facilitated through a donation from the African Medical Supplies Platform through which the Government received 75,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Prime Minister Holness thanked the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, for the gift.
The Prime Minister said that all 75,000 doses were utilized, and there remains overwhelming demand. He expressed thanks to frontline workers who ensured the success of the vaccination process, “I want to thank the thousands of health care workers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), and all the support staff who worked around the clock to make this possible”.
Prime Minister Holness says the Government expects 20,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine through a commercial arrangement and an additional 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines through the global COVAX facility this month.
The Prime Minister assured the nation that the Government continues to pursue all other bilateral and multilateral avenues as well as commercial arrangements with suppliers, to obtain more vaccines.