Monkeypox vaccines expected to arrive in Jamaica this month

By Rumi Samuel Published on September 02, 2022
Monkeypox vaccines expected to arrive in Jamaica this month

The first set of vaccines to treat monkeypox is scheduled to arrive in Jamaica this month,  Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has disclosed.

“We have a priority group that will be targeted, similarly to what we [did] with the COVID-19 [vaccine distribution], and once they arrive, we will offer it to that group,” he said on Wednesday.

The island has now recorded its seventh case of the disease, just before the beginning of the 2022/23 school year, and Dr Tufton called on parents to be vigilant.

He also advised that the same health and safety protocols in place to manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus within schools will also be maintained throughout the new school year.

These include social-distancing protocols, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and having designated areas for sanitisation on school premises.

“The Ministry and the Ministry of Education and Youth work closely together. There are briefing sessions; we work with the school nurses [and] guidance counsellors; the schools are aware of what to look for and the recommendations to health centres, doctors [and] hospitals,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer for the Spanish Town Hospital and Consultant Pediatrician, Dr Jacqueline Wright James, said there is no need for panic, as the “[monkeypox case] numbers aren’t significantly high in Jamaica”.

“And more so for children, they are less infected than the adults. We have seen some pediatric cases worldwide and, therefore, it is not impossible for a child to contract monkeypox,” she pointed out.

“We have come through the COVID-19 pandemic for the last two and a half years, and those measures that we enforced to reduce the spread are the same measures that we will enforce for monkeypox.”

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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