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Jamaica hoping to be on list for US vaccines  

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Jamaica Observer – MINISTER of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton says the Government has been in communication with the United States and is hoping that Jamaica will be one of the beneficiaries of the 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to be distributed by the US soon.

“We have to wait and see, but we have been in discussions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with our partners in the US Administration around accessing vaccines, whether for sale or grant. Those discussions continue, and so we would certainly hope that is the case,” Tufton told the Jamaica Observer yesterday at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Monday, the White House announced that the Biden Administration is expected to share as many as 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in coming months, following federal safety reviews.

But whether or not Jamaica is a recipient of such aid in the now over-a-year-long COVID-19 fight is a decision that lies solely in the hands of the US.

“They make those decisions, and our communication lines are open and have been for some times,” said Tufton.

Jamaica Monday received a fourth shipment of vaccines when 55,200 doses of AstraZeneca arrived in the country through the COVAX medical facility. In response, Tufton said the country has been making “some progress” in receiving the drug, and that another shipment is expected in May.


“We hope that May shipment will be more than the 55,200 we got this time around. The vaccine does not have the virus in it. There’s a view that somehow the vaccine give you COVID and you’re therefore going to have the risk of suffering. There’s no way the vaccine is going to create the virus in you. What is important to know is that when you get the first dose of the COVID vaccine, you need between 21 to 28 days for the vaccine to take effect,” he said.

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