PM welcomes US commitment to donate vaccines to Latin America and Caribbean

June 04, 2021 in Regional

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says he welcomes the United States’ commitment to donate millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Joe Biden administration announced yesterday that it will donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the United Nations-backed COVAX programme, which is aimed at getting vaccines to poorer nations.

In a fact sheet, the White House said that for these doses, Washington would prioritise countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa as it aims to help stave off fresh surges of infections.

“We welcome the announcement of the United States President [Joseph] Biden and his administration to make available some of their vaccines for the region,” Holness said, at the renaming ceremony for the Denham Town Primary School and the Denham Town Infant School in West Kingston yesterday.

The two schools have been renamed the Edward Seaga Primary School and the Edward Seaga Infant School, in honour of the late former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the area.

“Certainly, it will not be enough even in the first instance to satisfy our total demand to bring us to herd immunity, but we welcome it and appreciate it as a continuing example for rich countries who have surpluses to make them available right across the world, right across the globe, not necessarily entirely by grant, but certainly available for purchase,” Holness said.

The prime minister said Jamaica has put aside the fiscal resources to purchase the vaccines that are needed.

“We welcome grants, but we also want equitable access, so I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the United States for this measure. We are hopeful that Jamaica will get a significant share of the allotment for the region,” he said.