The nation’s Chief Medical Officer, CMO, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie is encouraging Jamaicans to go out and get the remaining doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines that are set to expire tomorrow.

The 75-thousand doses of the vaccines that arrived in Jamaica last week were a gift under the African Medical Supply Platform.

The vaccines were manufactured by the Serum Institute of India last November. The shelf life of the vaccines is 6-months with the direct expiration date being tomorrow April 13.

Chevon Campbell reports.

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Dr. Bisasor McKenzie says under the current 4-day Vaccination Blitz about half of the vaccines or 37, 500 doses have already been administered.

The CMO is encouraging Jamaicans to go out and get vaccinated before tomorrow evening. She says the aim is to use at least 85% of the vaccines today and tomorrow.

The CMO says though they had a short window to use this batch of vaccines, the health authorities didn’t refuse the opportunity to try and vaccinate as many persons as possible before the expiry date.

Dr. Bisasor McKenzie says come tomorrow evening what’s leftover will not be discarded until they’ve established that the World Health Organisation has not extended the shelf life of the vaccines.

The CMO is also reassuring persons that there’s usually a 6 month period when the drug is still effective even after the listed expiry date.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health & Wellness has announced that Government Workers are the newest addition to the cohort of persons who can receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In a press release, the Ministry also says 10 vaccination blitz sites will operate until 8pm today as well as tomorrow, April 13, as it aims to get as many Jamaicans inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

The blitz sites include the National Arena and Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre in Kingston and St Andrew, Twickenham Park Open Bible Church in St Catherine, Denbigh Showground in Clarendon and the Manchester High School.

Other sites listed are Junction and Santa Cruz Health Centres in St Elizabeth, Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James and Bahia Principe Resort and Ocho Rios Health Centre in St Ann.