Jamaica opens booster programme to all

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised that, with immediate effect, Jamaica will provide booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible persons within the population. The move will allow all adults 18 years and older to receive a booster dose following full vaccination.

The decision comes as the Ministry prepares for an anticipated fourth wave of COVID-19 infections and the global spread of the highly transmissible OMICRON variant of concern.

According to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, “The evidence of the OMICRON variant has shown some reduction in efficacy in some vaccines and it is being recommended in some instances that booster shots can improve the efficacy and, therefore, increase the protection from the virus. Additionally, it has been shown that persons who have had infection can be re-infected as natural immunity does not provide enough protection.”

Booster doses will be administered with the following guidelines:

  1. Persons who have taken AstraZeneca and are 6 months after their second dose can now receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  2. Persons who have taken a Pfizer vaccine and are now 6 months after their second dose can now receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  3. Persons who have taken the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson and are now 2 months after taking that dose can now get a dose of Johnson & Johnson as their booster, or may wait until 6 months after taking the first dose to receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine.

 

Children 12 to 17 years are not required to get a booster at this time.

To receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, members of the public should visit any of the Ministry’s access points for vaccination. Persons should take their vaccination card and a government-issued identification or letter from a Justice of the Peace.

Members of the public are being urged to remain vigilant in their practice of the infection prevention control measures that is, washing or sanitizing hands, avoiding crowds, wearing a face mask and keeping a physical distance of six feet apart from others.