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Health Ministry suspends administration of Pfizer vaccine 

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised that effective Wednesday, September 15, it will postpone the administration of the Pfizer vaccine.

The postponement comes as Jamaica awaits the arrival of a second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected in country in the coming weeks.

The ministry made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday. This was shortly after the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, told a press conference that the doses should arrive from the United States in another three weeks.

“While the country awaits the arrival of more Pfizer doses, members of the public who are due their second dose of the vaccine are assured that they will get it once supplies arrive in country,” said Tufton.

He noted that the World Health Organisation’s recommendations on the administration of Pfizer second doses give consideration to the second dose being given three to six weeks after the first dose, and up to 12 weeks in some instances.

The ministry, meanwhile, is continuing to administer the other two-dose vaccine, AstraZeneca, and the single-dose Johnson and Johnson shot.

Members of the public are being encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves from severe illness, hospitalisation and/or death as a result of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jamaica continues to increase its overall supply of vaccines, with the arrival on Monday of 100,800 doses each of the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

Tufton said the doses are part of the purchase arrangements through the COVAX Facility in the case of AstraZeneca, while the Johnson and Johnson doses were purchased from the African Medical Supplies Platform.

The minister said up to 2:30pm on Tuesday, a total of 679,467 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Jamaica. Of that number, 477,537 were first doses, 185,076 were second doses, and 16,854 were the single-dose Johnson and Johnson jab.

To become vaccinated, members of the public are encouraged to visit a vaccination site close to them. Details on the sites can be found at https://vaccination.moh.gov.jm

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