Health ministry plans to roll-out COVID vaccine in four phases

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has outlined plans for a phased deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in Jamaica.

Noting that the island will only be receiving vaccines to cover approximately 16 per cent of the population, the ministry said it is planning to have a four-phase distribution.

“The phased approach is aimed at decreasing the risk of severe illness and death in the most vulnerable groups first, stabilise the health workforce to restore full health services to the population, and then to facilitate a return of economic, educational and social activities. 

“The first phase will cater to the vaccination of vulnerable and priority groups in the population. The second phase will see the introduction of vaccine to the general public and in each subsequent phase more of the general population will have access,” the ministry said. 

It also pointed to a recent survey, which suggests that 35 per cent of Jamaicans will take the vaccine. 

“With a robust communication plan this figure should increase. Micro planning is required at each phase to ensure that that figure is pushed closer to 100%.”

The island is set to receive a total of 935,676 doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility. Of this number, 292, 399 doses are to be delivered in April and the same amount is expected in July. The remaining 350, 879 doses are due in December.