House to house vaccination starts in Jamaica

Our health workers have been putting in the hours. Who can deny this – they have been dedicated, hard-working and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. The United Nations in Jamaica decided to recognize them by encouraging government and private sector buildings to “light up blue” in recognition of the efforts of our frontline workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has been intense, stressful and exhausting for them all, and it hasn’t gone away – yet.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) turned a deep purplish blue in recognition of our frontline workers. (Photo: UN Jamaica)

Talking of making it go away, the ongoing vaccination “hesitancy” has been most disheartening. I cannot wrap my head around it. I am still hearing the same half-hearted excuses being recycled. It is as if many have just made up their minds not to protect their own health – or that of their family, friends, and the general public. It is tiring. I am a fan of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine; as older people (one with co-morbidities) my husband and I both had two doses each and we had virtually no side effects. I implore Jamaicans to go and get vaccinated.

Health workers are getting residents in some rural areas “vaxxed up.” (Photo: Ministry of Health and Wellness)

However, Jamaica continues to have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the Caribbean. We are one of six countries in the Latin America/Caribbean region to be way below the current regional average of 39 percent. The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said:

“Six countries in our region have yet to reach 20% of their populations: These are Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Haiti in the Caribbean, and Guatemala and Nicaragua in Central America.”

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Carissa F. Etienne, October 12, 2021

We have vaccines. We ought to be ashamed of our poor showing. I hope this new effort makes a big difference. If people won’t go to the vaccination sites, then it’s time to take the vaccines to their doorstep.

And the long-awaited genome sequencer, to be used to identify various strains of COVID and other viruses, has finally arrived. It was purchased by the Government’s CHASE Fund and handed over on October 22. (Photo: Ministry of Health and Wellness)

On a more positive note, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the staff at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston. A COVID-19 patient there recently, who has been a very important person in our life, received wonderful care and kindness from them and is now recovering at home. They did not give up on him. Although they said he was an amazing patient, I know he got excellent care – despite the many challenges I know they face. Kudos to the National Chest Hospital, and thank you!

A public health team going door to door in Farm and Belmont Districts, Westmoreland. (Photo: Ministry of Health and Wellness)

Here is today’s announcement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness:

House to House Vaccination Begins

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Sunday, October 24, 2021: At least nine health departments across the island have begun house to house vaccination. Healthcare teams, including public health nurses and community health aides from Hanover, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Trelawny, Westmoreland, St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas have been deployed to communities across the island to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to shut-ins, disabled and the elderly.

According to Health & Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, “This house to house vaccination programme is intended to take vaccines to communities that are not close to a fixed site and to persons who are not able to travel to these sites.”

This represents another phase in the national vaccination efforts and is in keeping with the principles of the programme, which includes national equity – developing appropriate deployment strategy and distribution infrastructure to ensure access to priority populations.

“I want to salute our public health workers who continue to show commitment to the COVID efforts, walking the hills and valleys to reach our most vulnerable citizens,” added Dr. Tufton.

The Ministry continues to encourage Jamaicans to get vaccinated to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and/or death associated with COVID-19. There are currently two vaccines in country: the two-dose AstraZeneca and the single-dose Johnson and Johnson. Both vaccines provide protection against the deadly COVID-19.

Up to 2:00 p.m. today, the island had administered a total of 893,696 doses of vaccines. Of that number, 533,967 were first doses, 315,036 were second doses and 44,693 were single doses.

The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica’s Vaccine Initiative held a session at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston today. (Photo: Ministry of Health and Wellness)

8 thoughts on “House to house vaccination starts in Jamaica

  1. So thoroughly disappointed in you, you are constantly pushing this so called agenda relentlessly. As a responsible journalist you should know to do research into this poison they call a vaccine. Maybe then you can try and understand the ‘hesitancy’ especially from people of African descent. Look at the Vaers, Yellow card and NHS websites you will see the facts, not conspiracies!! I cannot understand how you haven’t seen how people that has had this so called experiment are being constantly damage and are dying, maybe you already know this and choose to ignore it, if so shame on you. I have subscribed to your website for a few years now ,because I thought you were a balanced and intelligent voice for Jamaica and beyond. I saw how you were pushing this thing, but thought in time, as (what I had thought) a good journalist, you would see the reality of the situation and start writing the truth. You can delete my message, I’m not bothered, but it will show how much people like you don’t like being confronted with truth and what is just and right. don’t worry I will remove myself myself from your website as I cannot continue to read or support anything that comes from you.

    Like

    1. Dear Janet: I am so sorry that you want to say goodbye! I am not pushing any agenda but like the WHO and a large number of doctors (including my own) I have realize that vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves and others. How do you reconcile the fact that almost all those seriously ill in Jamaican hospitals are unvaccinated? The facts speak for themselves. I do not believe in conspiracies. However, I fear that perhaps you do.

      Like

  2. I’m happy to say that all of my Jamaican family members living in JA (and those who live abroad) are all double vaccinated. There was zero hesitancy. On my wife’s side of the family living in JA, their willingness to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity arose may be in part due to the fact that my wife is a RN, and was fully on board as soon as it was offered to her a year ago, and she willingly offered her advise.

    I know of two people in JA who aren’t, and they’re my Mother and Father-in-law’s neighbours, the wife and the daughter. I spoke to the daughter a couple of months ago. She’s an educated (UWI) person, 20 something, and full of misinformation. It was truly baffling. Her mother’s excuse is equally as troubling. The father, who’s a police officer is fully vaccinated, and has been for some time.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.