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Hundreds of tourism workers vaccinated in Westmoreland

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — More than 500 tourism workers were vaccinated against COVID-19 using one of three vaccines as part of a programme under the Private Sector Vaccine Initiative (PSVI) and the Tourism Vaccination Task Force.

The two-day exercise was carried out at Sandals Negril in Westmoreland last Thursday and Friday.

Players in the tourism industry had the option of choosing from the Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The blitz site was open to not only workers in the tourism industry, but also to their families, close friends, and any member of the public; all free to access the vaccines at no cost.

Stephanie Stewart-Johnson, an employee of Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, shared why she felt the need to get vaccinated.

“I chose to get vaccinated [today] because I want to have a fighting chance if I should get infected as I have asthma. If I should get COVID, at least I’ll have the vaccination to resist it. Today was my first shot, I took the Pfizer vaccine and even though I’m scared of needles, it was a little sting and then it was over. I have a bright future ahead of me and my future children to look forward to and this shot is putting in corrective measures in case something should happen.”

Medical partners, Omega Medical Hospital, assisted in administering the vaccines and provided advice for individuals who had questions surrounding the vaccines.

“We are more than happy to partner with the Ministry of Health & Wellness as well as the Tourism Vaccination Task Force through the Ministry of Tourism in dispensing these much-needed vaccines. We all must play our part in seeking to get back to normal and getting our population vaccinated is a major part of that response to this disease. Aside from administering the vaccines, as doctors we got a chance to dispel several of the misconceptions surrounding the vaccine and to interact with persons we are trying to reach,” explained Dr Sonja King-Foster, the director of Omega Medical Hospital.  

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