Nestle provides refreshments at MoBay vaccination siteThursday, September 16, 2021
MONTEGO BAY, St James
Individuals who went out to get vaccinated at the Montego Bay Type V Health Centre, as well as employees of the St James Health Services who worked there during this week's lockdown days, were treated to a variety of refreshments, courtesy of Nestle Jamaica.
Public relations manager at Nestle Jamaica, Garfene Grandison, said the initiative was hatched after the company recognised a need for a hospitality area at the COVID-19 vaccination sites across the island, due to the sometimes long waiting time.
“We realised that since the vaccination efforts started [earlier this year], there [are] always long lines with many individuals waiting for hours on end. We thought that a hospitality area would be ideal with some of Jamaica's favourite brands to help ease the burden of the Ministry [of Health and Wellness], while at the same time showing our consumers that we care,” Grandison told the Jamaica Observer West.
Armed with many of the brands they offer, representatives of Nestle Jamaica travelled to the western end of the island to provide refreshments as the city's business places were closed due to the lockdown.
“We went with quite a few of our brands like Nescafe, Milo, Maggi, Orchard and Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW). [Being that] we are a nutrition, health, and wellness company, we wanted to ensure that we could at least offer something from our very wide portfolio that could cater to almost anyone at the different consumption [levels],” he said.
“So, we had soup, cold coffee, Milo, juice as well as cereals and items from the milk portfolio featuring not only cow's milk but plant-based milks as well.”
The public relations manager noted that Nestle Jamaica is currently working on visiting as many COVID-19 vaccination sites as they can.
“We wish we could be everywhere but at this time we are concentrating our efforts at the major vaccination centres in Montego Bay and Kingston where we could impact a greater cross section of [individuals]. However, from time to time, if budget and logistics allow, we try to do other locations. Recently, we were in Bull Bay at that blitz site, and we will be at the Middle Quarters Primary School on Thursday (today),” he said.
“The message is simple: At the root of it all, Nestle is here to support our consumers in any way we can and at any time we can.”
Parish manager for the St James Health Services, Lennox Wallace, told the Observer West that the partnership with Nestle Jamaica was greatly appreciated.
“We partnered with Nestle on Monday and Tuesday, there [was] a lockdown so the company assisted us by providing snacks and refreshments for both staff and [individuals] who came out to get vaccinated. The truth is, we saw an increase of over 100 per cent due to the partnership with them and we are happy for the assistance seeing that the business places in Montego Bay were closed [due to the lockdown], so the staff and patients really benefitted,” Wallace explained.
Wallace expressed gratitude on behalf of the St James Health Services' team to Nestle Jamaica, and the parents who took their children out to get vaccinated during the Government issued no-movement days.
This, he believes, is a step in the right direction as the vaccination of students aged 12 and over brings the island closer to the reopening of schools to face-to-face learning.
“We want to thank them, but we also want to thank the community and the children that came out to be vaccinated as we set out to get 65 per cent of students vaccinated so they can have face-to-face interactions at school. When I see this crowd, it makes me happy, and I know that there is still an urge for persons to get themselves and their children vaccinated,” Wallace told the Observer West on Tuesday.
Sharing that his team at the St James Health Services is doing all they can to ensure that every Montegonian has access to COVID-19 vaccines, he declared that they are providing vaccination across the 22 health centres in the parish.
“We are covering the parish at the 22 health centres to ensure that individuals have easier access to get vaccinated and that the parish of St James remains safe. We are here seven days a week to ensure that we have the full participation of the community,” he stressed.
Dervin Lee, who along with his teenage daughter, visited the Montego Bay Type V Health Centre vaccination site for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, told the Observer West that they were grateful to have received beverages from Nestle Jamaica while they waited for the jab.
“We got juice and all types of beverages. It was a good look, mi affi seh thank you Jah Jah because at first mi did think it was a tent where mi affi buy things, but mi realise seh dem come there and give you free beverages, so it was a good look fi the people dem. The people dem must did happy about that,” said Lee, as he lauded the Nestle Jamaica team for their excellent customer service.
According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, up to 4:30 pm on Tuesday, a total of 686,829 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered. Of that number, 478,660 were first doses, 191,009 were second doses and 17,160 were single doses.