Nearly 42,000 Jamaicans have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to date under the government’s inoculation programme.

That’s according to Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton.

He was speaking this morning during a media briefing.

Dr. Tufton says this represents 88% of the Ministry’s target for the month.

Jamaica’s official vaccination programme began on March 10, exactly a year after the first case of COVID-19 was detected on the island.

The programme started with healthcare and frontline workers and notable Jamaicans such as former Prime Ministers and the Governor General.

Government officials and Jamaicans aged 75 and over have since been added to the priority groups.

Dr. Tufton says as early as next week, the Health Ministry may be able to further increase the pool of persons to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says as part of the upcoming vaccination blitz this weekend, the Ministry intends to use MPs and other officials as a method to increase their coverage of persons over 75 years old.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.