Community groups, political representatives being drafted to increase vaccination reach

Dunstan Bryan
As the Ministry of Health prepares for an islandwide COVID-19 vaccination blitz on Saturday, it has teamed with community groups, the church and political representatives to reach a large segment of the population.
The Ministry of Health is aiming to administer 150,000 vaccine doses over the next week, after receiving 300,000 doses from the United Kingdom on Friday. 
Dunstan Bryan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, told a media briefing on Thursday that the ministry has been reviewing its strategies to accelerate the vaccination programme.
Part of the new strategy will include taking the vaccine into communities. 
"So we have to now look at our community based interventions and how we engage at the local level with communities in their space and in their specific cultural norms and values to provide vaccines. And we also have to ensure...that we have different service delivery models to ensure that we reach everyone at all socio-economic groups," Mr. Bryan outlined.  
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie said mayors, chief executive officers of the municipal corporations, and Members of Parliament are being mobilised to assist in the programme.  
Jamaicans are able to make vaccination appointments via the Ministry of Health's website or by calling 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683). 
All Jamaicans 18 years and older will be eligible to get the vaccine.

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