Parliament must grant indemnity to manufacturer before getting vaccines

February 03, 2021

Jamaica is set to move full speed ahead in enacting laws to give protection to the manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccines that are set to arrive in the country by mid to late February.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said that before the vaccines are shipped, Jamaica will have to put in place the necessary indemnity and liability frameworks "in order to complete the agreement directly with AstraZeneca".

The country is set to receive between 146,400 and up to 249,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines under the under the COVID-19 Global Access Facility (COVAX).

Anti-vaccine push globally

"The issue of acceptance of the vaccine is a concern," Tufton said, adding that the anti-vaccine push globally has got louder and opposition to vaccines worldwide has got stronger.

Tufton said that some 125,000 Jamaicans could receive vaccines by the end of February into March. Among those to receive the vaccines are our front-line workers, including nurses and doctors, and then to vulnerable persons, chief among those are persons 60 years and older.

Tufton said that if additional supplies become available under the COVAX arrangement, Jamaica will be able to vaccinate some 450,000 Jamaicans by the end of the year.

Jamaica had 15,973 cases up to Monday, with 353 deaths. In the last five days, the country added 538 new cases, with hospitalisation on the rise.

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