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Jamaica commences modified COVID-19 vaccination campaign

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Jamaica commences modified COVID-19 vaccination campaign

REUTERS 1
Photo: REUTERS

Jamaica is scheduled to begin its modified vaccination campaign today.

The new program starts amidst Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s warnings of a new national lockdown if current COVID-19 restrictions do not slow infections over the next three weeks. Since March 10, Jamaica had inoculated 3,000 individuals. However, following reports of crowding at vaccination centres, the inoculation of healthcare and law enforcement personnel has been re-prioritised.

One year after Jamaica saw its first COVID-19 case, its economy—battered by the loss of tourism—has started to present signs of improvement. Still, vaccinations remain necessary to sustain a rebound after the economy contracted by 9.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, dragged down by the underperforming services sector. Likewise, the tourism-dependent nation reported foreign exchange inflow from tourist activity is expected to fall by 74%.

Expect Jamaica’s recovery to take time to gather pace. As the economic outlook for the first quarter of 2021 remains negative with a predicted 7% to 9% contraction, expect the government to strengthen restrictions while coordinating its vaccination campaign as the country receives more doses. Nevertheless, Jamaica’s recovery will be determined by how swiftly the tourism sector recovers, which remains in the hands of tourist-sending nations’ vaccination campaigns.

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