The Ministry of Health has disclosed that a number of persons who were administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now indicated they do not plan to take the required second shot.
The ministry was unable to give definite numbers during a media briefing on Thursday. However, Dr. Melody Ennis, Director of Family Health Services, said it is a small percentage of persons.
She said the ministry is seeking to make contact with these persons to have them take the second dose.
"We now have persons that are in week 14 going into week 15 of not being inoculated. Be reminded that the recommendation remains that as soon after you've passed the 12th week then you should be vaccinated. So we continue to engage those persons who have certainly indicated to us that they are unwilling and we are tracking all persons who are in excess of the 12th week and we are making direct contact with them through the health departments and inviting them to come in for their second shots," she revealed.
Up to Wednesday, 300,833 people had received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 122,000 people have received their second dose.
But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said he is concerned the pace of increase could become more aggressive.
"The trends do suggest that we're heading in a direction and that pace of increase can become a lot more aggressive if it continues on this trajectory. It also suggests that something is happening, which would have started before you see the trend and therefore it will get worse before it gets better and certainly requires some sort of intervention," he declared.
Jamaica's COVID-19 reproductive rate has increased to 1.2.
The reproductive rate represents the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average.
The country had managed to maintain a reproductive rate of below one for 16 weeks. However, the rate has jumped since the relaxation of COVID measures over the last three weeks.