Westmoreland residents happy for second Pfizer jab
People gather under a tent at Manning's Schoolto confirm their vaccination appointments onMonday. (Photo: Kimberley Peddie)

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Delroy and Lucinda Brown have stayed away from church for months, afraid of contracting the novel coronavirus. The elderly couple finally got their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, almost a month behind schedule.

“Thank God; it's like a relief. It was a burden,” said Delroy Brown.

He and his wife were among those who showed up at the vaccination centre at Manning's School to take their second jabs.

“[Mi] stress out, man, can't even go to church,” added his wife. They were initially due their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on September 9.

They had got vaccinated so they could once again be among the handful of worshippers allowed to gather at their church, like all other places of worship across the country.

Their second dose was pushed back after wrinkles developed in the Government's efforts to replenish supplies of the brand of choice for many Jamaicans. A lack of supplies forced the Government to halt Pfizer jabs in September, disappointing thousands who were waiting for their second dose.

Last Thursday, Jamaica received 100,600 doses of Pfizer vaccines, more than 45,600 donated by the Government of Suriname, and the remainder sourced through the Government's paid arrangement with the COVAX facility.

Like the Browns, other Westmoreland residents were overjoyed when vaccinations using the Pfizer brand resumed on Monday.

Beverly Reid said though she was rattled by the long wait, she remained hopeful.

“Mi never give up until I hear that it come. I mek the appointment, and mi get through,” she said on Monday, barely able to contain her excitement. Reid had originally been due her second dose on September 23.

“I'm feeling fine, I just took the pills,” she added as she pulled a sachet of Panadol extra strength from her bag.

A dose of Panadol after vaccination is recommended to ward off side effects.

Dennis Shepherd, who was also due to get his jab on September 23, showed up four hours early for his 2:00 pm appointment on Monday.

“To be honest, mi glad it come so mi can get mi second dose,” he said as he and his wife sat patiently waiting.

When news of the Pfizer arrival was televised, Shepherd said, he made sure to reserve a spot. Being fully vaccinated, he said, is his way of keeping himself and his family safe.

Petersfield resident Zoe Williams was another early arrival. She showed up at 7:30 am but didn't have an appointment. She managed to get help to register for a 2:00 pm slot. “Mi did anxious to get it,” shared Williams who said her second dose had been due on September 15.

Williams encouraged Jamaicans who are still undecided to get vaccinated.

“Come and tek the vaccine ,'cause when you have this you can travel all around the world,” said Williams..

BY KIMBERLEY PEDDIE Observer writer

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