Jamaica: COVID-19 boosters offered for over-60s

I have been wondering about booster shots, in light of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Now, I realize that our entire family in the UK (aged over 18 years, that is) have already got theirs.

This just came in from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. So, off we go again it seems, to the vaccination centre! (We had two AstraZeneca jabs, but the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccinated people should also go back for the booster).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          

December 12, 2021

Health Ministry offers booster to all Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Sunday, December 12, 2021: Beginning tomorrow (Monday, December 13), Jamaica will offer a booster shot to all persons 18 years and older who have received a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The booster can be given with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine two to six months after the administration of the primary vaccination or with the Pfizer vaccine six months after the primary vaccination.

Also starting tomorrow, adults 60 years and older and healthcare workers will be given a booster dose of the other COVID-19 Vaccines.

This development comes in the wake of the Ministry’s finalisation of its evaluation and benefit analysis of administering an additional dose of the authorised COVID-19 vaccines to key members of the population.

The Ministry recommends that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine be offered six months or more after the completion of the initial doses that may have consisted of either mRNA (Pfizer) or viral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson).

The move is in line with a Cabinet decision for boosters to be given to key populations at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, increased risk of waning and/or lower protection and who could pose increased risk of transmission to vulnerable populations. These key populations are essential for maintaining health system capacity.

Persons who are eligible for a booster shot are to visit the nearest vaccination site with their vaccination card and Government issued ID.

The Ministry is also reminding the public that an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccines is recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals. This will be an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine already received and should be administered eight weeks after the last dose.

For other members of the population, the Ministry will continue to closely monitor the evidence and will make additional recommendations if there is evidence of the need for and benefit of a booster dose, as well as vaccine availability.

With the Omicron variant seen as highly transmissible and in keeping with the Ministry’s priority, members of the public are also urged to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series.

Persons are encouraged to visit the over 250 vaccination sites islandwide to receive their first dose. Members of the public, who are past due their second dose are also encouraged to visit a vaccination site to be fully vaccinated.

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