The Jamaican government is hoping to deliver one million COVID-19 jabs by the end of November, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said.
“That is not impossible and not necessarily a very difficult task,” Holness said of the target. “It just requires greater focus, and so the government will be redoubling its effort right throughout the country.”
Jamaicans have been reluctant to take the vaccine for a variety of reasons including fear of side effects and feeling taking the vaccine is unnecessary.
Over 810,000 doses have so far been administered. Over 513,000 first doses and 265,000 second shots, and 32,000 jabs of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered. Approximately 10 percent of the Jamaican population is fully vaccinated – one of the lowest rates of per capita take-up in the Caribbean.
Citing the importance of leveraging churches and trade unions as key influencers, Holness said the government would be ramping up strategies to stave off the dumping of vaccines because they are reaching expiry dates. Vaccines expire roughly six months after their manufacture.