Jamaican government secures 270,000 coronavirus vaccine for citizens

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton

The Jamaican government has secured 270,000 coronavirus vaccines for its citizens. The figure is based on the official estimate of the population being a little over 2.7 million.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton shared the news in parliament recently.

“We have subscribed to the group funding in order to secure a percentage of the vaccines that come on the market through PAHO/WHO [Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation]. We’re entitled, based on what we’ve advanced, to 10 per cent of our population. That’s the pool scheme that we’ve subscribed to,” Tufton said.

He was responding to a question from Member of Parliament for Western St Andrew, Anthony Hylton who wanted to know the government’s progress in securing vaccine for the population.

Minister Tufton also shared that a committee will be put in place to handle the distribution of the vaccine.

“In another week or two…we’ll be announcing a national COVID Vaccine Coordinating Committee which will involve members of different stakeholder groups to coordinate or begin to put in place the plans for the distributing of the vaccine once it is available,” he said.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech firm Moderna have both said their vaccines, could be ready for distribution as early as December. Both companies said their vaccines are 95 per cent effective with few side effects. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is about 90 per cent effective depending on how the dosage is applied. Manufacturers said it could be ready for rollout early next year.

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