KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 12, 2021: Since March 2020, when Jamaica recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the private sector, through its associations and member companies, has been working with the Government of Jamaica (GoJ), mobilising a range of resources to support national efforts to manage the health emergency and safeguard the economic welfare of all Jamaicans.
Jamaica’s national vaccination programme (NVP) should receive a significant boost through the Private Sector Vaccine Initiative (PSVI), which sees the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), mobilising members, to provide funds that will support the GoJ’s efforts in delivering vaccinations across the three phases of the roll-out. This support includes the provision of logistical and technical resources along with the procurement of critical hardware to underpin the programme.
The private sector partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the GoJ on February 17 to bolster the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ (MOHW) programme to procure an adequate supply of safe and effective vaccines for the population.
“With the GoJ’s target of inoculating 65% of the population in a year, our goal with the PSVI is to support the MoHW in key areas to achieve the increased velocity and penetration of vaccinations in Jamaica, which will, in turn, bring us back to being a healthy and productive society, faster,” outlined Chris Zacca, Chairman of the PSVI’s Oversight Committee.
So far, several private sector entities have indicated interest in purchasing vaccines for staff and their dependents, once the Phase 1 recipients (essential workers and the vulnerable segments of the population) have been inoculated and additionally, in contributing vaccines to groups within the public sector over the course of the execution of the NVP.
“The vaccination programme is a clear and significant pathway for us to return economic activities to levels of normalcy and bring back the jobs to families and communities that were hard hit by the pandemic,” Zacca added, pointing to a core focus of the PSVI.
In addition to the GoJ’s vaccination sites, the PSVI, whose partner base also includes the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), aims to utilize established medical facilities and personnel within the Associations’ network who are prepared to contribute to supporting increased vaccination capacity islandwide.
As the public continues to express concern about the security, efficacy and accessibility of the jab, the PSVI will also support the MoHW in its drive to respond with accurate, timely information and assurances about vaccine safety and the overall process of registering and receiving a vaccine.
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