The Ministry of Health and Wellness has conducted a series of training sessions with critical personnel in preparation for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry, Dr Melody Ennis, said that
“over 580 staff members in the public sector from various categories were trained in order to be able to vaccinate our population”.
Among the areas covered during the sessions was Infection Prevention and Control (IPC).
“We are vaccinating in the COVID environment, which means that persons have to be properly spaced, which takes a little more organisation, so we did our refresher in IPC,”
Dr Ennis explained.
The training also dealt with waste management, and cold-chain and logistics, which Dr Ennis noted, is
“very important because if the vaccines are not maintained at a particular temperature, then they will lose their effectiveness”.
She pointed out that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Jamaica will receive, is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius, which is the typical storage temperature for vaccines used on the island.
“Most of our vaccines come like that and, therefore, our people are well versed in the keep and care of these vaccines, but of course, we did our refresher,”
Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccines for Immunisation (ESAVI) and Adverse Events following Immunisation (AFI) were also revisited.
Dr Ennis said
“We concluded our training with Pharmacovigilance (drug safety), which involves reporting, not only here in the country, should something adverse occur, but through regional and international channels and back to the manufacturers,”
“We report through our Standards and Regulations Unit via the Pharmacovigilance-arm internationally,”