The Western Regional Health Authority has launched a high-level investigation of several vaccination sites after a vial containing 10 doses of the highly sought-after COVID-19 vaccine went missing this afternoon.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dunstan Bryan, confirmed to our news center that the vial disappeared from the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay sometime after midday today.
The realization sent officials scrambling to determine how the drugs went missing.
In a time of scarcity of the vaccine, it’s almost unthinkable that 10 doses of the precious commodity would simply vanish from one of Jamaica’s Type A hospitals.
Yet that’s exactly what happened in Montego Bay, St. James in western Jamaica shortly after midday today.
Chairman of the Western Regional Health Authority, Errol Greene, would only confirm that the region had launched an investigation into the breach.
When pressed to confirm when exactly the hospital discovered that the vial could not be accounted for, the regional chairman refused to be drawn
Mr. Greene also could not confirm whether the stockpile of vaccines stored at other sites across the Western region were secure.
He says an audit is currently underway to make that determination.
Jamaica’s roll out of its vaccination programme has hit several snags along the way.
Two shipments of the Aztrazeneca vaccine faced logistical hurdles which delayed their arrival in the island.
Yesterday Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, confirmed a break down in the vaccine registration process which resulted in unregistered persons receiving the jab.
The Health Ministry is advising the public that between March 14 and 19, only Cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians and Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies over 60 years old, along with members of the JCF and JDF will be inoculated.
The general public is being asked not to turn up at vaccination centers without having an appointment.
The race is now on to recover the 10 missing doses.