A complete disaster!
That’s how Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Morais Guy, is describing last weekend’s vaccination blitz across the island.
Hundreds of Jamaicans who turned up at the National Arena to receive their second dose of the vaccine were tuned away.
Dr. Guy says the Ministry’s poor planning is to be blamed.
Nora Gaye Banton has more in this report.
The Ministry announced on Thursday night that the shortage of vaccines was forcing the government to prioritize citizens 50 years and older.
But when those seniors turned up at the National Arena, they were told no vaccines were available to be administered.
The Ministry eventually closed the site for the weekend.
Dr. Guy says Dr. Tufton and his team dropped the ball.
The Health Ministry has since suspended vaccinations at all sites today and tomorrow.
Inoculation of those 50 years and older is expected to resume on Wednesday.
Dr. Guy says the Ministry’s poor planning and communication contributed to the challenges experienced at the weekend.
He’s criticizing the Ministry’s reliance on social media in communicating updates.
Dr. Guy is also expressing concern that the issues experienced may affect the country’s confidence in the administration of the vaccination programme.
The Health and Wellness Ministry says it expects to received additional doses of the vaccine in the coming days.
It’s seeking to assure persons who’ve not yet received their second dose that there’s enough time to administer the jabs.
Meanwhile, Dr. Guy is repeating the Opposition’s call for the appointment of a Vaccination Czar to manage the country’s inoculation programme.
Dr. Guy says the Minister needs a technical team to properly advise him.
Dr. Morais Guy, Opposition Spokesman on Health.
He was speaking with our news center on Monday afternoon.
And… Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says contrary to reports, all but two vaccination centers met their targets for last weekend’s blitz across the island.
Dr. Tufton was responding to reports of chaos at vaccination sites last Saturday, including at the National Arena.
The Minister says the majority of the sites were fully operational.
Dr. Tufton says overcrowding played a major role in the confusion as persons who were not due to receive jabs turned up at the locations.
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health Minister.
He says the vaccination site at the Grand Bahia Principe in Ocho Rios experienced similar challenges due to overcrowding.
And Director of Family Health Services, Dr. Melody Ennis, says the remaining 19 vaccination centers saw over 70 percent uptake.
Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Health Services.
Abigail Bartley contributed to this report.