Approximately twenty members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) got one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in St. Catherine on Friday, (March 12)
The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out began under the guidance of the Force’s Medical Services Branch (MSB) in collaboration with the St. Catherine Health Department.
Among the twenty persons that received the jab was Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, Head of the Training Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis and several members of the NPCJ staff as well as some members of the team at the MSB.
“Outside of health care workers… as a group, I think the JCF is probably the most exposed after that. People come to us whether they are sick or well…we are at the frontline…we are always interfacing with the public. And so it is really important that our members are protected. Vaccination in Jamaica is not something we aren’t used to,” said Major General Antony Anderson .
“This is just the latest in a range of vaccines. So I would encourage persons… sign up, register, get your vaccine so we can keep on doing our jobs in a protected state,” added Anderson as he encouraged all members of the force to use the present window of opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
After receiving his jab, Major General Anderson commented on the ease of the process noting that it was a “very simple”.
Head of the MSB, Dr. George Leveridge, explained that the process will now continue at various sites across the country.
“We have worked with the various Health Departments in each parish to develop a schedule, taking into consideration the workload of the public health nurses,” he said.
He explained that for instance, in some parishes, the vaccine will be administered on weekends at select sites. The NPCJ will remain as a site for St. Catherine and the Office of the Commissioner of Police will also be used as a site.
Today’s roll-out comes weeks after the Commissioner of Police set up a committee to manage the vaccination process in the Force. As part of the process, the MSB has held twice-daily sensitization sessions with members to answer questions and address concerns.
The team has also been responsible for pulling together various aspects of logistics support that will be needed as the roll-out continues.