The Government of Jamaica has allocated US$34 million (J$5 billion) to purchase 3.5 million doses of vaccines for two million Jamaicans but is now concerned about access and storage when the supplies reach the island.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said the money was included in the 2021/2022 expenditure and estimates which were presented on Thursday during the opening of the Houses of Parliament.
Tufton stated that while the government is reducing fears of affording the vaccines, there are, however, issues with accessing the vaccines, as richer nations are purchasing the available supplies and making it difficult for poor countries like Jamaica to get access.
He said there are also concerns about ensuring the vaccines are kept in a safe and secure place on the island.
Meanwhile, Tufton stated that the government is also seeking to access more than the 16 per cent of the population that is arranged through the COVAX agreement. He said the government is currently in discussions with a number of countries and international bodies to secure the two million vaccines.