Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton all but declared the parish of Westmoreland Jamaica’s new COVID-19 epicentre, telling the nation’s Parliament on Tuesday that with more than 100 new confirmed cases, including 12 deaths in the last two weeks, the situation threatened to reach crisis proportions.
The alert came amid the revelation of a planned roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine for 2021, with 16 per cent, or approximately 432,000 of Jamaica’s 2.7 million population, set to be inoculated against the disease that has killed 265 people here and infected almost 11,300. Global infections have topped 63 million and fatalities 1.5 million.
Tufton said that vaccination would commence by next April, with the programme gathering steam through to year end.
Health workers and the elderly, particularly those with underlying illnesses, will be given priority.
A National COVID-19 Vaccine Commission has been established to provide oversight for the deployment strategy.