Hurting for a Moderna jab

MONTEGO BAY, St James — When 41-year-old Paulette Jackson received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a visit to Canada, she did not anticipate the trouble she would face in Jamaica in getting the second jab to become fully vaccinated against the deadly virus.

“From I take the Moderna [vaccine] and came back home I have [been] trying to get the other one, but there is none in Jamaica so I don’t know what to do,” Jackson told the Jamaica Observer during a vaccination blitz at Granville All Age School last Thursday.

“I went to Canada for six months to visit my daughter and I came home last month. The second dose is supposed to be taken [now] and my daughter just went back recently to get her second dose,” she explained.

Jackson was among the 130 people who turned up at the Granville vaccination site but, unlike the others, the woman was seeking information on the possibility of the vaccine becoming available, as she does not know what else to do.

“I don’t know what I should do so I am seeking information on how I can get the other dose because I am willing to take it. I went to the doctor to seek assistance and they said the vaccines must not be mixed,” said Jackson.

“Right now I might just leave everything up to The Almighty because I do not know what to do; the doctor said I must not take anything else but the Moderna [vaccine],” she added.

Going back to Canada at this time seems impossible, Jackson told the Observer, as she noted that her current financial situation will not allow her to fly — and her daughter is not in a position to help.

“I might just have to wait and see so I am living by the grace of God based on what I see going on now. I really can’t afford to go back because [my daughter] is not working and she has a young baby, so everything is kind of down inna di COVID ya now. That is what’s holding me back,” the woman said.

“I am just hoping that the [Moderna] vaccine comes to Jamaica soon or I might have to wear masks for the rest of my life,” said Jackson while shaking her head.

With her back against the wall and no sign of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine becoming available on the island any time soon, Jackson told the Observer that she has been experiencing great worry and distress.

“I am feeling so down and out. I feel left out because everybody is getting their second dose and I am not getting any. Plus, I know I am not fully covered unless I receive my [second dose],” Jackson added.

She explained that her decision to get vaccinated in Canada, as opposed to Jamaica, was encouraged by a nurse who told her she might catch the virus on her flight home.

“When I was [supposed] to come home the COVID [cases] in Canada were high. I went to do the COVID test [so I could] fly back home and the lady encouraged me to go and get vaccinated because the cases were high. She said that people are travelling on planes [with the virus] so I should please take one before I go back home,” said Jackson.

Yesterday Howard Mitchell, chairman of the National Health Fund, which is leading the Government’s drive to acquire COVID-19 vaccine’s told the Jamaica Observer that efforts are under way to purchase small quantities of the Moderna vaccine but this is proving difficult.

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