Jamaica is yet to inoculate its 20% population against COVID: PAHO

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Kingston, Jamaica: Jamaica island is one among the four Caribbean countries that is yet to vaccinate its 20 % of the population, according to PAHO – Pan American Health Organization.

The other three nations that are yet to reach the target include – St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Haiti in the Caribbean, and Guatemala and Nicaragua in Central America.

Director of PAHO – Dr Carissa Etienne, on Wednesday, stated that several Latin America and the Caribbean nations are on track to reach the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 vaccination target that is of 40 per cent before the end of this year.

The Director also introduced three possible scenarios for the future of the pandemic, outlining that, “While the overall vaccination rate in Latin America and the Caribbean currently stands at 39 per cent, in far too many places, coverage is much lower.”

The Director noted that “As more vaccine doses are making their way to the region, countries must make the necessary preparations so these doses can be used as quickly as possible.”

PAHO is working to accelerate vaccine deliveries to the region, including COVAX-procured and donated doses. The organisation is also providing to receive COVAX and bilateral shipments in – Jamaica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

In the past few days, PAHO worked to fast-track the delivery of 1.3 million vaccine doses donated by – Spain, Germany, the United States and Canada, which will be used to boost coverage in Honduras, Guyana, Argentina, and Jamaica.

Appreciating the Belize government and citing examples from the nation, which has promoted COVID vaccines in public spaces, such as bus terminals and markets, the Director asserted, “To be effective, vaccine campaigns must also be designed around the unique needs of the population.”

As per the statistics, only 11 per cent of the total Jamaican population has received the required doses and is fully vaccinated.