The Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett is this afternoon expressing concern that unless current worldwide vaccination efforts are accelerated, it could take up to five years to achieve the 75% vaccination threshold required for worldwide herd immunity.

The Tourism Minister says while he is encouraged that the World Health Organization, WHO, has given the green light for the use of additional vaccines, the rate of vaccination and access for poor countries may slow the global recovery.

He’s guided by a recent report out of the financial publication Bloomberg.

He’s calling the global community’s attention to what he says is a clear and present danger to an even international recovery.

The Minister says unless the rate of vaccination is dramatically accelerated, tourism dependent economies stand to suffer the most among international players.

The Minister is also taking aim at what he says is the international disparity in the distribution of the vaccines. 

The Minister is warning that larger countries are seemingly rejecting a united approach to vaccination in favour of a nationalistic approach. 

Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister.

Jamaica is yet to receive a single dose of the long awaited COVID-19 vaccine. 

The government says continued international shortages have affected the supplies expected to arrive in the island. 

Minister Bartlett is hoping that the global community will quickly address the disparities so that the economic recovery for tourist dependent economies can begin.

The Minister was speaking at this morning’s Edmund Bartlett Lecture series on Restarting Economies Through Vaccine Politics, Global Priorities and Destination Realities.