Monkeypox Vaccines Expected to Arrive in Jamaica this Month

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton
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CNW- The first set of vaccines to treat monkeypox is expected to arrive in Jamaica this month, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton has disclosed.

“We have a priority group that will be targeted, similarly to what we [did] with the COVID-19 [vaccine distribution], and once they arrive, we will offer it to that group,” he said on Wednesday.

The island has now recorded its seventh case of the disease, just before the beginning of the 2022/23 school year, and Dr. Tufton called on parents to be vigilant.

He also advised that the same health and safety protocols that were in place to manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus within schools will also be maintained throughout the new school year.

These include social-distancing protocols, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and having designated areas for sanitization on school premises.

“The Ministry and the Ministry of Education and Youth work closely together. There are briefing sessions, we work with the school nurses [and] guidance counselors; the schools are aware of what to look for and the recommendations to health centers, doctors [and] hospitals,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer for the Spanish Town Hospital and Consultant Pediatrician, Dr. Jacqueline Wright James, said there is no need for panic, as the “[monkeypox case] numbers aren’t significantly high in Jamaica”.

“And more so for children, they are less infected than the adults. We have seen some pediatric cases worldwide and, therefore, it is not impossible for a child to contract monkeypox,” she pointed out.

“We have come through the COVID-19 pandemic for the last two and a half years and those measures that we enforced to reduce the spread are really the same measures that we will enforce for monkeypox.”

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.


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