A clarification/correction on Jamaica’s vaccination numbers; and new COVID restrictions start tomorrow

I have to confess I am not good at numbers. So I made an error in yesterday’s account of the Ministry of Health and Wellness briefing on COVID-19.

Let me set it straight. I noted yesterday: “Over 300,000 have received their first dose. This includes 122,000 who have received their second.” Incorrect! (I have removed that part now).

A kind follower pointed out to me that these numbers refer to the total number of vaccines administered, NOT the total number of people vaccinated.

The Ministry reported today that as of Sunday, July 25 their numbers are: 178,444 first doses have been administered, and 123,848 second doses of AstraZeneca. This adds up to a total of 302,856 doses administered. As you can see, there is still a bit of a gap between the first and second dose numbers, and those who are now due are urged to get their second dose. Some aren’t due yet.

Additionally, 564 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine have been administered – to athletes, including the Reggae Boyz football team and the team going to the Tokyo Olympics. These are all used up now.

By the way, if you like studying numbers, this Reuters page, which is regularly updated, is very useful. It describes Jamaica’s current COVID-19 situation as “16 percent of peak and rising.”

So, as the joys of another social event on the north coast faded into the background (the “Festival of Floats” eschewed COVID protocols, from the numerous photos I saw on social media), the Prime Minister gave a press briefing this evening.

After Minister Tufton had given an update on the COVID-19 situation, the PM returned to the podium and got straight to the point (he has been criticized for his long preliminaries in the past!) outlining new measures beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, July 27) until August 10. These will include our upcoming national holidays (Emancipation Day and Independence Day). On Mondays to Saturdays, the curfew hours will be from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning. On Sundays and Public Holidays, the curfew hours will be from 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning.

By the way, the Institute of Jamaica/Natural History Museum of Jamaica will be hosting an online lunchtime session on COVID-19 myths and misconceptions. Tune in:

As part of its update this evening, the Ministry of Health and Wellness tweeted the following. The indicators are moving fast…in the wrong direction.

The geographic spread of COVID-19 is increasing, as new cases are being reported in more communities. As at July 25, some 306 (or 39.6%) of 783 communities, had COVID-19 cases, with the dates of onset in the last two weeks. This is up from 29% two weeks ago.

Hospitalisations are also on the rise. In the last 7 days alone, we have gone from 215 daily hospitalisations to 298. Our general hospital occupancy at this time is also a cause for concern, as the public health system would be required to make additional space available.

Up to yesterday, with respect to general occupancy, 7 hospitals were in the Red Alert Zone, which means these facilities currently have 84% or greater bed occupancy, while 4 are in the Amber Alert Zone with greater than 74% of their beds currently being occupied.

Current #COVID19 bed occupancy: TWO facilities are at the Amber Alert level. This means, they are at or over 74% of capacity, and another TWO facilities is at or over 84% of its COVID-19 bed capacity, placing it in the Red Alert Zone.

Minister Tufton added that by the end of September he expects to receive 1.4 million vaccines from various sources, as follows: 393,000 single-dose Johnson & Johnson from the African Medical Supply Platform; 614,000 Double dose from the USA; 100,620 Double dose from the COVAX Facility; 300,000 AstraZeneca from the UK (the latter in the next week or so, hopefully).

I wrote about vaccine inequity yesterday. Well, last week the Global Dashboard on Vaccine Inequity was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in association with the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. New data on the Dashboard shows that:

Low-income countries are forecast to see health costs soar by more than half, to vaccinate fully a target of 70% of their populations. But high-income countries would have to increase spending by just 0.8 percent to achieve the same results. 

https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/news/global-dashboard-vaccine-equity-launched-featuring-data-covid-19-tracker

As I said, I am a pro-vaxxer. Get vaccinated today! COVID-19 is real, not a hoax or a conspiracy. So is the Delta variant thereof. Perhaps some of the weekend partygoers had better get tested too, come to think of it.


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