Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said that 4,000 doses of vaccines for Monkeypox are expected to arrive this month.
While speaking at the Open House & Exhibition ceremony in St Catherine, Tufton said that the distribution of these vaccines would take a similar approach to that of the COVID-19 doses.
“We have a priority group that will be targeted, similarly to what we [did] with the COVID-19 [vaccine distribution], and once they arrive, we will offer it to that group,”
Tufton has also confirmed reports that there are seven cases of the monkeypox disease on the island — five active, two recovered.
While addressing parents, He urged them to be vigilant and advised parents to follow the same health and safety protocols for COVID-19 as children return to face-to-face classes on September 5.
“If there is any problem, go to your parish health office or report to your school nurse. The Ministry and the Ministry of Education and Youth work closely together. There are briefing sessions; we work with the school nurses [and] guidance counsellors; the schools are aware of what to look for and the recommendations to health centres, doctors [and] hospitals,” he noted.
Examples include social-distance protocols, masks, frequent handwashing, and sanitization spaces on school grounds.
Meanwhile, Dr Jacqueline Wright James, Senior Medical Officer at Spanish Town Hospital and Consultant Paediatrician, said there’s no reason to panic because “[monkeypox case] numbers aren’t high in Jamaica.”
But she pointed out that even if children are less infected than adults, a child can still contract monkeypox.
“We’ve been through the COVID-19 epidemic for two and a half years, and we’ll use the same methods for monkeypox,” Dr Wright James added.
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