The Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that it will make 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine available to Jamaicans 18 and over, as part of its efforts to increase vaccination take up across the country.
In a post on Twitter, the ministry said: “Starting at 10 am on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, Jamaicans over 18 years and older are invited to visit the Ministry’s website to make an appointment to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.”
The ministry announcement was complemented by a statement in Parliament from Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who noted that the country was currently lagging behind in its vaccination programme.
According to Tufton, up 10 am today (November 30), there were approximately 1.1 million doses administered –
599,000 first doses, 440,000 second doses and 68,000 single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – representing just 18.6 per cent of the target population.
“We are behind in our inoculation programme and that is no longer a function of a lack of vaccines or even vaccine sites. It really is now up to the Jamaican people and we encourage take up,” Tufton said, noting that with the Christmas season coming up the country would inevitably see an increase in movement and exposure as well as a potential spike in infections.
Prior to the ministry announcement today, Pfizer doses, which have tended to be the preferred vaccine among Jamaicans, had been prioritised for children over 12 and adults over 50, particularly because they were in far shorter supply than Astrazeneca doses.
But with a larger number of Pfizer doses now available, the ministry is now hoping to see an uptick in persons coming in to take vaccines without the risk of running out of doses when persons are ready to receive their second jab.