The Health and Wellness Ministry is again seeking to clarify the government’s budget for the Vaccination programme. 

Last week, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, announced a $60 billion Social and Economic Recovery and Vaccination program. 

That includes more than $5 billion dollars to buy enough jabs to vaccinate 60% of the country’s population. 

The Health and Wellness Ministry in a statement says it’s to also spend $978 million on other resources for the roll out of national vaccination programme. 

Stevian Simmonds reports.

The Vaccination program intends to see some 2-million people getting the jab by March next year. 

The Health and Wellness Ministry says while Jamaica has a good vaccination history, there’s need to ensure the existing systems are strengthened. 

30% of the $978 million, is to be spent on procuring 3.5 million syringes. That’s nearly $286 million. 

The Ministry will spend another $232 million hiring 80 temporary staff members across the four regional health authorities, and $46-million on overtime staff payments.

$64 million will go the placement of public education materials and $22-million for the Public Relations firm One Integrate Group.

The Health and Wellness Ministry says it will also spend $36 million for printing communication materials, and $36 million on Data management. 

The Ministry has been facing public backlash, over its $400 million budget put aside for the vaccination public education campaign. But the Ministry says that was a misunderstanding. 

In the meantime, the Health and Wellness Ministry says it’s spending $54 million upgrading its web-based Vaccine Management System. It notes that the system is to track the movement of vaccines across the island and to produce reports on demand and uptake.

The Ministry says the remainder of the monies will be spent procuring freezers, safety boxes. Monies will also be spent renting spaces, on research, vaccination training and other activities.

In the meantime, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Chris Tufton says the government is still awaiting communication from the World Health Organisation, W.H.O on the exact date for the arrival of the vaccines. 

Dr. Tufton says the government is still working with the initial timeline, to receive the first vaccine doses by month end. 

However he says in the meantime the government has been implementing the necessary resources to ensure a successful roll out of the vaccination program.

Minister Tufton says the Ministry continues its push to convinced people to voluntarily take the vaccines once they arrive. 

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister, speaking with Nationwide News. 

Jamaica is set to receive doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine under the COVAX facility, Johnson and Johnson vaccines and and Moderna.