There was welcome news for Jamaica in the House of Representatives on Tuesday when Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton announced that the country stands to benefit from enough COVID-19 vaccines that could see more than 270,000 Jamaicans receiving a jab in their arms.
The figure is based on the official estimate of the population being a little over 2.7 million.
“On the vaccination arrangements, we’ve already put in place, as you know, (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/Wiorld 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 told fellow parliamentarians.
The minister was responding to a question from the Member of Parliament for Western St Andrew, Anthony Hylton, who asked: “Is it too early to ask whether the planning has already begun, and where in the planning process are we in terms of any plan for distribution of this vaccine?”.
Tufton also spoke to the next phase, which he described as the “coordination of distribution”.
“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,” the minister revealed.
Jamaica, like other developing countries, is positioning itself for a share of the vaccines which are being developed to fight the novel coronavirus which has infected approximately 60 million people worldwide and killing 1.4 million since it first emerged in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. In Jamaica, some 10,422 infections and 243 deaths were recorded up to Tuesday.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech firm Moderna have both said their vaccines, developed in just months, 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.
Credit: Source link