Fourth wave of COVID pandemic expected early January, says Holness | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

Jamaica is expecting a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in early January and as such, the health authorities are taking steps to prepare, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The prime minister was candid about what lies ahead in the ongoing pandemic as he addressed the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“We are expecting, and we are preparing for a fourth wave, and it is likely to come in early January, just after Christmas,” said Holness.

He added that “Whether or not we experience a fourth wave and how significant it may be, depends on us. The only sustainable way out of this pandemic is personal responsibility on the part of all our citizens; personal responsibility to follow the infection prevention and control protocols and ultimately, the personal responsibility for taking the vaccine.”

Holness said up to midday on Tuesday, the authorities had administered 1,054,653 doses of vaccines. Of the amount, 572,753 were first doses, 420,822 were second doses, and 61,078 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine were administered.

Meanwhile, the number of persons fully vaccinated stood at 481,900, representing approximately 17.1 per cent of the total eligible population. The number of persons who have received at least one dose was 633,831, representing roughly 23.2 per cent of the population.

“So we’re still lagging well behind our counterparts in the region and our vaccination rate is still very much low, so low that it is not having an impact on transmission (of the coronavirus),” said the prime minister.

“What is clearly having an impact on (lowering) transmission would be the measures that we have put in place. The same measures that people cuss about, that people quarrel about. The same curfew, same no-movement Sundays and lockdowns; those are the measures, the same measures that have worked to keep us safe.”

Notably, Holness told the House that there has been a slight uptick in vaccine take-up since the resumption of the administration of the Pfizer vaccine. He said as at November 12, some 109,778 doses of Pfizer vaccines had been administered to children 12 to 17 years old.