Kingston – Jamaica on Monday obtained 14 400 doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines via the COVAX Facility, changing into the primary nation within the Caribbean to get their allocation of the vaccine from the worldwide effort of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, the Pan American Well being Organisation (PAHO) and the World Well being Organisation (WHO).
PAHO’s Revolving Fund, which is liable for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the international locations of the Americas underneath the COVAX Facility, despatched 14 400 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by SK Bioscience of South Korea.
“Seeing this arrival could be very reassuring and it implies that extra individuals will have the ability to be shielded from COVID-19,” stated Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, PAHO/WHO Consultant in Jamaica.
“We are going to proceed to work with the nation to assist vaccination together with your complete bundle of identified public well being and social measures that we all know might help cease the unfold of COVID-19, defend well being companies, and save lives,” she added.
The arrival of those first vaccines will serve to guard precedence teams and people most in danger, resembling well being staff and older adults.
“We’re happy that Jamaica is the primary nation within the Caribbean to obtain vaccines underneath the COVAX Facility. Vaccination has confirmed an simple success within the public well being toolkit to scale back the burden of infectious illness, and vaccines underneath the COVAX facility symbolize a key a part of our response to this international pandemic. The quantity obtained can be used to inoculate our healthcare staff and different frontline staff, who’ve been on the core of our COVID-19 response,” famous Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Well being and Wellness of Jamaica.
Monday’s supply was a part of the primary part of deliveries for Jamaica, and extra vaccines are anticipated to reach all year long. The island is predicted to proceed receiving doses via Might till it reaches 124 800, the quantity specified by COVAX.
Because the first case of COVID-19 was reported right here, the nation has recorded 31 305 confirmed circumstances and 492 deaths on account of the virus, based on official knowledge from the nation.
“Each dose arriving in Jamaica brings the promise of safety for extra households from COVID-19 an infection. Over time, this may convey the pandemic to an finish and scale back its dangerous secondary impacts on youngsters. They will return to highschool, entry essential companies and scale back their vulnerability to violence,” stated Mariko Kagoshima, UNICEF consultant within the nation.
Fifteen Caribbean international locations will obtain simply over 2.1 million doses of COVAX vaccines by Might. The others are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, and Trinidad and Tobago. Six of those international locations – Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines – will obtain the vaccines free.
COVAX seeks to supply vaccines for a minimum of 20 per cent of the inhabitants of every taking part nation throughout 2021.
On this first spherical of vaccine allocation, all COVAX taking part international locations will obtain doses to vaccinate between 2.2 and a pair of.6 per cent of their inhabitants. The one exceptions are small island growing states, which is able to obtain an allocation of vaccines to cowl between 16 and 20 per cent of their inhabitants, because of the excessive logistical price of delivering small portions of vaccines. (CMC)