Councillor caretaker calls for more vaccination sites in St Mary WesternMonday, September 13, 2021
ST MARY, Jamaica – People's National Party (PNP) councillor-caretaker for the Gayle Division in St Mary Western, Jouvaughnie Byfield, is calling on the Ministry of Health and Wellness to set up vaccination sites in the constituency.
Byfield, in a statement from the PNP, highlighted that the number of vaccination sites in the parish is "insufficient" to serve the population there.
Further, he noted that there are many residents who are willing to get vaccinated but cannot do so due to what he said were challenges associated with accessing existing vaccination sites.
"Residents have to be going to Ocho Rios and central St Mary to get vaccinated. The vaccination sites are too far and most elderly residents are unable to make the journey," asserted Byfield.
According to the councillor caretaker, the issues with accessing vaccination sites extend beyond location.
Byfield, while noting the obvious strain on household income due to the pandemic, expressed that poor road conditions and the low number of taxis plying the Ocho Rios to Port Maria route pose a challenge for residents who want to take the vaccine.
Against that background, he is calling on the Health and Wellness Ministry to "re-evaluate the strategy for Western St Mary vaccination sites".
At the same time, Byfield urged the St Mary Western Member of Parliament, Robert Montague, to "advocate on behalf of the people for more accessible vaccination sites".
To that end, the PNP councillor caretaker recommended that the health ministry utilise the Gayle Health Centre, Free Hill Primary School, and the Mt Angus Primary and Junior High School as vaccination sites in the constituency.
"The suggested sites are centrally located and allow easier access for residents, including students and elderly members of the community," the PNP statement disclosed.
"Listen to the science, take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves and those around you by getting vaccinated. Wear your masks, wash your hands and sanitize," Byfield urged residents.