Jamacia’s government will cover the required medical expenses in the event of an adverse reaction to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s according to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

Speaking at the COVID-19 online media briefing Thursday, Tufton said, while the government has granted indemnity to manufacturers AstraZeneca, it is making plans to protect citizens from the possible ill-effects of the vaccine.

He, however, stressed that the vaccine has proven to be safe and is only expected to provide an adverse effect in minimal cases.

Tufton said that a condition for getting the vaccine through the COVAX arrangement that was coordinated via the World Health Organisation (WHO) was that the manufactures had to receive indemnity, to rid them of responsibility for the possible ill-effects of the vaccine.

“What the government has done in response to that, or is doing in response… the government clearly will have to take on that responsibility and so the attorney general’s chamber, having gone through a process of discussion within the Cabinet, would make the necessary legal arrangements to meet those requirements,” Tufton said.

“At the same time as a government, we clearly appreciate and understand that we have an obligation to our citizens so we say to citizens, there is no need to fear.

“This is a safe product, but the truth is, the government is here under universal access, to ensure that those who may need additional care, get additional care,” Tufton stated.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, while also assuring that the vaccine is safe, said there will be a programme to monitor those who have taken the vaccine.
She said this process will start at the facilities where the vaccination is being administered.

“We want to ensure that the delivery of the vaccine is going to be safe and so therefore, at all our sites that we are going to be vaccinating, we will have the necessary things in place in case there are any issues that will come up,” Bisasor-McKenzie said

“And persons will respond differently to the vaccines, regardless of which vaccine it is, so we will have the necessary staff in place to deal with any problems.

“In terms of if persons develop problems after, we do have a programme for evaluating events that occur after vaccination that we follow persons over a period of time, to monitor any adverse events that occur,” she said.