Jamaica begins offering booster COVID-19 vaccine shots today

by December 13th, 2021

Starting today, Jamaica will offer a booster shot to all persons 18 years and older who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.


The Health and Wellness Ministry, which made the announcement says the booster can be given with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two to six months after the administration of the primary vaccination, or with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine six months after the primary vaccination.


The Ministry says also starting today, adults 60 years and older and healthcare workers will be given a booster dose of the other COVID-19 vaccines.


This development comes in the wake of the Ministry’s finalization of its evaluation and benefit analysis of administering an additional dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to key members of the population.


The Ministry is recommending that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine be offered six months or more after the completion of the initial doses that may have consisted of either mRNA (Pfizer) or viral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson).


The move is in line with a Cabinet decision for boosters to be given to key populations at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, increased risk of waning and/or lower protection and who could pose an increased risk of transmission to vulnerable populations.


The Ministry says these key populations are essential for maintaining health system capacity.


Persons who are eligible for a booster shot are to visit the nearest vaccination site with their vaccination card and Government-issued identification.


The Ministry is also reminding the public that an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccines is recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals.


This will be an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine already received and should be administered eight weeks after the last dose.


For other members of the population, the Ministry will continue to closely monitor the evidence and will make additional recommendations, if there is evidence of the need for and benefit of a booster dose, as well as vaccine availability.


The Health Ministry adds that with the Omicron variant seen as highly transmissible and in keeping with its priority, members of the public are also urged to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series.


Persons are encouraged to visit the over 250 vaccination sites islandwide to receive their first dose. Members of the public who are past due their second dose are also encouraged to visit a vaccination site to be fully vaccinated.

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