With Jamaica’s seventh case of monkeypox recently documented, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton has confirmed that the country’s first shipment of monkeypox vaccines will be arriving this month.
While speaking with JIS News, Dr Tufton informed the outlet that the ministry will be employing a similar rollout strategy to that of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and have a priority group that they will be targeting. Dr Tufton also urged parents to exercise caution while speaking during the Open House & Exhibition ceremony for the rehabilitation of public health facilities on Wednesday.
“If there is any problem at all, go to your parish health office or report to your school nurse,” Minister Tufton stated.
Dr Tufton advised that throughout the upcoming academic year, the same health and safety procedures that were in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus within schools will be maintained. This will include following social-distancing rules, donning masks, washing hands frequently, and designating areas on school premises for sanitisation.
Jamaica confirmed its first imported case of monkeypox on July 6, a male who had recently travelled from the United Kingdom, and its first locally acquired case on August 5. The island’s two most recent cases were detected on Wednesday, and according to Minister Tufton, appear to be locally transmitted.
“There is no evidence to suggest to this point that they were imported cases, but it is an indication that the virus is out there and more people are being exposed to it,” Dr Tufton said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a total of 52, 090 confirmed cases of the disease thus far, 51, 599 in locations that have not historically reported monkeypox.