A recent survey suggests that only 35 per cent of Jamaicans would be willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
That projection by the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) was reported in the Covid-19 Deployment and Vaccination Interim Plan tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The document states that a comprehensive social behaviour change communication plan was being developed, based on the PAHO survey results, and the fact that uptake of the Influenza vaccine has averaged only 50 per cent over the years.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton stressed that acceptance and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine is critical to slowing the spread of the infection, reducing deaths and rebuilding the economy.
The vaccine plan has outlined that surveys and focus group discussions will be conducted in February and key messages and materials developed for public communications and advocacy.
The Jamaican Government is planning to spend about J$3 billion to implement phase one of the local vaccine programme, with the first doses to be delivered on April 21.
Approximately 16 per cent of the population is to be vaccinated this year.
PAHO is expected to receive 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from March to June.
This will be for deployment to member countries joining the COVAX facility.
Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, the organisation's Assistant Director, speaking Tuesday during PAHO's COVID-19 digital briefing, said delivery of the vaccines is scheduled to get underway in March when the first 20 million doses are expected to be received.
Dr. Barbosa said that another 35 million doses are expected in April, 45 million in May, and 95 million in June.