Jamaica might face vaccine shortage in future

Jamaica to receive shipment of additional vaccine in July
Jamaica to receive shipment of additional vaccine in July

3 weeks after Jamaica received its 55,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Now Jamaica is facing a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton in May said that those 55,000 doses were reserved for the persons who were due for their second shot of vaccine during the month. During the press conference, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said that as the stock of these vaccines has been decreasing so now, the government should give priority to the citizens of 50 and above. Jamaica had reached the stage where many citizens would be sent back when they would go to have their shot.

Tufton said that they had reached at a stage in the administration of vaccines when supplies have been tightening up. He wanted to advise the public that would be meant that they had to prioritize in terms of who would get access at this time and certainly over the next two weeks. So what that meant has been that for the next two weeks, they have been going to have to tell some persons “no” when they would come to get their first shot, and perhaps a second dose if they would be below the age of 50.

Tufton said that it has difficult management because, in a sense, they can’t demand, and there has no automatic availability. They had a need, they wanted the vaccines. But, they had to negotiate access based on what has been available and the willingness of the manufacturers to make that available.

Dr Tufton said that Jamaica has expected to receive additional vaccines from the United States at the end of June. Shipments of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been scheduled to arrive by August end.

Till present, more than 220,000 Jamaicans have received at least 1st dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. 51,908 persons are fully vaccinated, whereas 168,758 have received their 1st dose of the vaccine.