Jamaica compelled to dump 55,000 doses as COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy persists – •

“Solely about 10 per cent of Jamaica’s inhabitants is totally vaccinated,” writes Emma Lewis for World Voices.

At midnight on September 30, the Jamaican authorities discovered itself having to get rid of 55,000 expired doses of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine that had been donated by the UK on July 30.

The losing of the dear doses was a very bitter tablet for Minister of Well being and Wellness Christopher Tufton to swallow. He tweeted that there had been a last-minute rush on vaccination websites, with some centres remaining open for prolonged hours with a view to burn up as many doses as potential. [. . .] Minister Tufton additionally responded sharply to a important banner headline within the Jamaica Gleaner, as an alternative laying the blame on vaccination-hesitant Jamaicans. [. . .] Journalist Jovan Johnson shared the well being ministry’s vaccination statistics on Twitter. Of a complete inhabitants of two.9 million, the federal government’s goal for vaccines is 1.9 million; the statistics don’t embrace kids underneath 12, who should not but vaccinated. [. . .]

Jamaica seems to be slowly rising from a 3rd wave of COVID-19, with infections step by step falling after a peak on September 6. A collection of lockdown days and nightly curfews, which have been lastly scaled again on September 18, could have had an affect on the variety of new instances.

Vaccination targets

To this point, over 803,000 vaccines have been administered, with solely 292,326 individuals being totally vaccinated, putting the island at the underside of the area on the subject of the proportion of residents who’ve accomplished their vaccination schedule, whether or not single- or double-dose (9.5 per cent). Additionally, hundreds of individuals have not turned up for his or her second dose.

Vaccination ranges have been more and more falling wanting targets, regardless of the urgings of state businesses and the non-public sector. The federal government goals for 65 per cent of its goal inhabitants to be totally vaccinated by March 2022. As of October 6, it had reached simply over 15 per cent of that objective.

A spread of outreach efforts, together with webinars, weekly press briefings, social media posts, a brand new device to achieve “shut-ins,” and the growth of vaccination websites into communities through a cellular bus and non-public sector partnerships, have barely moved the needle in latest weeks.

Personal-sector efforts, which started in late July, have additionally fallen brief, with simply over 20,000 workers being vaccinated over the course of eight weeks. The Personal Sector Vaccination Initiative held a vaccination drive at a serious Kingston transportation hub, concentrating on public sector transport operators, however though the objective was to vaccinate 500 taxi and bus drivers in a day, the uptake was solely 200.

Why the hesitancy?

In the meantime, the Nationwide COVID-19 Operationalisation Job Pressure, established to ramp up the vaccination drive inside seven months, has light from the general public highlight. [. . .]

For full article, see https://globalvoices.org/2021/10/08/jamaica-forced-to-dump-55000-doses-as-covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-persists/

[A close-up of an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine vial. Photo by John Twohig on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

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