Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health
A batch of 145,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will have to be dumped if they are not used within the next six days.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Ennis said the ministry is trying to increase the take up of the medication before it expires.
"I just want to say that although we have been offering all the vaccines, we shouldn't think that persons are not coming out for Astra. Over the past week, we would have inoculated about 16,000-plus persons with Astra, which is more than we did for Pfizer and persons have been coming out for their second dose. We had over 9,000 persons receiving their second dose of Astra in the last week," she revealed, as she sought to allay any possible concern that the vaccine doses were expiring because they had been sidelined due to a supposed preference for other brands.
More than 100,000 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine were dumped after they expired last month.
There have been calls for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to introduce vaccine mandates to prevent the country from dumping more doses of the medicine.
No increase in Pfizer take-up
The Ministry of Health said there has not been a significant increase in the take-up of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since it started administering the medicine to adults a week ago.
The vaccine became available last Wednesday to people 50 years and older.
Dr. Ennis said, since that time, just a little more than 5,000 doses were administered.
"So last week, we would have given just about 13,193 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 8,000 were to the children. So, the amount of adults taking up the Pfizer wasn't tremendously significant over the last week," she reported.
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