JAM | Sep 15, 2023

Health ministry to replenish COVID-19 vaccine stock despite low uptake

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
A resident receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Petersfield Primary School in Westmoreland recently. (Photo contibuted)

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says the Government has taken steps to replenish the stock of COVID-19 vaccines, despite the low take-up, to ensure vaccines are still available for those who still wish to be vaccinated.

Tufton said that while take-up has been low, the Government will continue to make doses available by way of routine orders through the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and donations through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“We’ve had to dump a lot of vaccines, but we still carry, or attempt to carry supplies for persons who need it. There is still COVID in the population. We still lose, unfortunately, one or two citizens every other week or so, but it does not represent the threat that it once represented,” said Tufton.

According to the latest weekly COVID-19 update from the Ministry of Health, from September 5 to September 11, Jamaica recorded 54 new cases of the virus, a decrease from the 88 cases reported the week prior.

However, while the number of new cases has decreased, the island’s positivity rate increased from 13.2 per cent to 18 per cent, meaning more people, when tested, have a positive result.

Test tubes labelled “COVID-19 Omicron variant test positive”. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

St Catherine had the majority of cases, recording 21. Westmoreland followed with eight new cases, while Kingston and St Andrew, Manchester, and St Ann confirmed five each. There were no new cases in Hanover and St Thomas. The remaining six parishes recorded less than five cases each.

According to the report, seven new deaths were confirmed. The deaths are said to have occurred between November 2021 and August 2023. Eight coincidental deaths were also confirmed, meaning the patients had COVID, but died due to other underlying illnesses.

There are 80 active cases of COVID-19 on the island.

The Ministry of Health continues to urge citizens to protect themselves from the virus. Health Minister Christopher Tufton has also said that there is no intention to reinstate lockdown protocols and urged citizens to practice sanitisation, mask-wearing, and get vaccinated.

The number of COVID-19 cases for each parish is as follows:

An excerpt from the Ministry of Health’s weekly COVID-19 report for September 5- September 11. The numbers in the centre indicate the number of new cases for the parishes, while the numbers to the right indicate the overall number of cases that have been recorded in the parish, since the first recorded case in March 2020. (Photo: Instagram @themohwgovjm)


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