COVID-19 vaccination site to be established at Caymanas Park next week for 3 daysFriday, September 03, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
The Supreme Racing Guide is reporting that a section of the 198-acre Caymanas Park property, the home of horse racing in Jamaica, will be transformed next week into a COVID-19 vaccination site.
The proposed dates for vaccinations at the park are Tuesday, September 7 to Thursday, September 9 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The vaccination site at the park will be coordinated by representatives of American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), the Ministry of Health, through the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), the horse racing promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the Diabetic Association of Jamaica and private sector interests, including Lasco and Sanmerna. The AFJ is a charitable 501 (c)(3) organisation based in New York, which has several former US ambassadors to Jamaica within its membership.
The AFJ said it was approached by SVREL to organise a vaccination site at Caymanas after having successfully provided vaccines elsewhere in Jamaica.
Caron Chung, executive director of the AFJ, told this publication that the vaccination site will not be limited to those within the horse racing industry, but also for all residents of Portmore.
“Once we at the AFJ were approached by SVREL, we started to move by meeting with the health officials at SERHA, and once we got approval, we started to actively seek assistance from private sector companies.
“Lasco has generously decided to provide water to all those getting vaccinated at Caymanas Park, and Sanmerna will be offering their paper products [napkins, cups, etc].
“I want to make it crystal clear that the vaccination site at Caymanas Park is not only for people in the horse racing industry.
“So we are making a strong appeal to those who reside in places like Hellshire, Greater Portmore, Naggo Head, Independence City, Meadowvale, Gregory Park, in fact, the entire Portmore to visit the Caymanas Park vaccination site from Tuesday to Thursday of next week,” Chung said.
She added: “Our priority is to support the Government in implementing community wide vaccinations. As the pandemic continues to affect lives in Jamaica, increasing vaccinations is the aim of our organisation.”
A news release yesterday from the AFJ informed that the Caymanas site will be administering single dose Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines.
Chairman of SVREL Solomon Sharpe, in his comment, said the establishment of a vaccination site at Caymanas Park has been long in the making and he was relieved that it was finally happening.
“First and foremost, I am elated that this project is off the ground.
“It has been on the table for a while now, and thanks mainly to the efforts of the AFJ and SERHA, it is becoming a reality.
“I am using this opportunity to appeal to, especially all the people associated with the racing product to come out and be vaccinated and so, too, all those in Portmore.
“Much thanks to the private sector companies who have pledged to assist, the health professionals who will be working over the three days, and to the effort put in by SVREL team members. The clarion call is for all in the area of Portmore and beyond to come out and get vaccinated,” Sharpe said.
It was president of the Jockeys' Guild, Robert Halledeen, who, on Tuesday last in The Supreme Racing Guide, made a public call for a vaccination site to be established at Caymanas Park.
Responding to the cancellation of the nine-race card at Caymanas due to COVID-19 concerns, Halledeen said, “It is my view, my personal view, that the Government should consider putting up a vaccination centre at the racetrack. Caymanas Park big, and this vaccination centre would not only be for racing people, but others in places like Gregory Park, Independence City, and other places near to the track.”
For eligible residents wanting to be vaccinated at the Caymanas site, identification will be required. Walk-ins are welcome and appointments can be made at
https://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm/vaccination.html or at 888-ONE-LOVE.