Sandals Foundation donates over $2 million in supplies to nation’s vaccination efforts

THE Private Sector Vaccine Initiative (PSVI) has received a donation of supplies valued at more than $2 million from the Sandals Foundation, as it ramps up the support of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ national vaccination plan.

The supplies include infrared thermometers with batteries, coolers, tents, chairs and tables that will strengthen the capacity of health centres administering the COVID-19 vaccines, which began on March 10 across the island.

The PSVI has committed to assist the Government of Jamaica to increase the pace and penetration of vaccinations by mobilising private sector members to provide funds that will support Government’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 support the programme.

The initiative is also coordinating the donation of items needed, such as those provided by the Sandals Foundation, to adequately stock vaccination centres across the island.

In speaking on the foundation’s latest support to the new phase of response, Heidi Clarke, executive director, said “It is important now more than ever that we all come together to play our part to support the health care system, the health-care workers and the building of resilience of our Jamaican citizens. The Sandals Foundation is extremely proud to help with the vaccination clinics and to assist with this process.”

“We are grateful to the Sandals Foundation team for this donation and commend them for always stepping up and answering the call to partner for the good of the nation. As the PSVI work with our participants to increase the velocity at which citizens receive vaccines, this supply of items to the national vaccination plan will significantly boost the activities even as the Government seeks to ramp-up the blitz-sites component of the programme,” said Chris Zacca, chairman, Oversight Committee, PSVI.

“As the programme rolls out we expect to see more contributions from our members as the response to the request for support has been extremely positive. The private sector stands ready to play our part in helping our nation overcome COVID and get back on a path to positive and sustainable economic activities,” Zacca added.

In addition to the Government sites, the PSVI, whose partner base also includes the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and Global Services Association of Jamaica, aims to utilise established medical facilities and personnel within the associations’ network who are prepared to contribute to supporting increased vaccination capacity islandwide.

On Monday, March 8, 2021, the first shipment of 50,000 doses of vaccines, donated by the Government of India, arrived in the island. Since then, the Government has been rolling out its vaccination plan to ensure that all front-line workers are vaccinated. On March 15, Government received another 14,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility, a global effort between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Recent announcements from the National Health Fund indicate that nation’s vaccination programme should receive more than 120,000 vaccines between April and May this year.

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