Life-saving vaccine not immune to the money-hungryMonday, April 12, 2021
Howard Mitchell, chairman of the National Health Fund, has reportedly been bombarded by fraudsters seeking to cash in on the global hunger for the jab. This is another example of the new outlook of some Jamaicans and foreigners to carve out a profit for themselves, no matter what.
It is quite confusing, though word is that a private vaccine deal was reportedly made ahead of local approval for the exclusive importation and distribution of a brand in Jamaica. It also seems that this deal would be in competition with the Government from the same supply source, and would certainly open the door for an unregulated free market feast for money-hungry business people. Furthermore, it would be the worst form of international relations for this kind of approval.
On March 8, 2021 the Government got 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a gift from India. On March 15 we obtained 14,400 doses through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility. And last Thursday there were 75,000 doses, which was a gift from the South African Government and Africa Medical Supplies Platform.
There have been many problems regarding the safety and quality of vaccines worldwide and millions of AstraZeneca doses reportedly been deemed unsafe and rejected by an American producer and put on hold in Hong Kong, France and other European countries. Is there any possibility that rejected vaccines could end up in Jamaica or another country for the sake of a profit and unnecessary business activity? We need to realise that there is a high level of competition between some companies and countries in what is now a vaccine trade.
It would be best for the National Health Fund to continue being the managing agency of this vital life support to guarantee the highest level of safety for the country.
Richard “Dickie” Crawford
Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development
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