Pfizer vaccines now available to Jamaicans 50 years and older | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that the Pfizer vaccine will again be made available to adults, but only those 50 years and older.

The about-turn comes just over two weeks after the authorities resumed administering the Pfizer shots, insisting that it would be given only to children 12-18 years old.

Reports are that the government has enough of the Pfizer vaccines to satisfy the entire 12-18 age cohort, and more supplies are expected to arrive in the island soon.

After its initial position that the shots would be available only to 12-year-olds and adolescents, in a bid to get up to 65 per cent of the high school age cohort vaccinated against COVID-19 and thus back in the classroom, the Government reversed itself, making the vaccine available to everyone age 12 and older. That quickly depleted the just over 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines that arrived in the first batch by September 16.

More than 80,000 adults and children were forced to wait weeks for their second dose until replenishment stocks arrived at the end of October.

Ahead of the latest arrivals, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton — who had publicly faced criticism after the Pfizer vaccines ran out — and Prime Minister Andrew Holness had insisted that the government would revert to its original position of administering the shots to 12-18-year-olds only.

Holness, in an address in the Parliament on Tuesday, pleaded with parents to get their children vaccinated so they can safely resume their learning.

Meanwhile, the health ministry said it is continuing to administer the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Jamaicans 18 years and older.

To become vaccinated, the public is encouraged to make an appointment using the ministry’s website (www.moh.gov.jm) or by calling the National Vaccination Call Centre at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663 5683).

Individuals should take a government-issued identification (school ID for students) or letter from a Justice of the Peace and their vaccination card to their appointments.

Up to 5pm on Tuesday, November 16, a total of 1,058,139 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine had been administered locally. Of that number, 572,497 were first doses, 420,638 were second doses, and 60,974 were single doses, the ministry said.