(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaica is set to receive 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from India some time next week, which will be the country’s first shipment of the drug.
Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica Masakui Rungsung made the announcement on Friday morning at the handover ceremony for medicine and supplies worth US$100,000 ($13.5 million) to the Jamaican Government, and revealed that the vaccines should’ve already arrived in the country, but were delayed due to uncontrollable issues.
“Jamaica’s share is ready to be shipped! The vaccines should have been here by now, as we speak. The shipment could not be scheduled on time as expected. This situation has given us sleepless nights. As much as you’re worried, we’re even more worried. But today, just before I came here, I received good news that the vaccines are about to arrive next week,” Rung-sung said, noting that he will not disclose a specific arrival date.
This news follows an announcement from the health ministry, which said 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were expected from India. Jamaica is among several Caribbean Community countries that will benefit from a donation of 500,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines by the Government of India.
India has been pushing for Jamaica to get the vaccines, Rungsung said, admitting that he has been pressing several players to ensure that happens.
“I’ve gone to the extent of pushing our people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we’ve gone to pushing the Serum Insti-tute who are the producers of these vaccines. We’ve gone even a step further to go to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to find out exactly what the situation was,” he said.
In a Facebook video post, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith said: “I am so pleased that our friends and partners, the Government and people at the Republic of India, have confirmed that their kind gift of 50,000 COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in Jamaica next week.”