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UWI completes successful first staging of Vaccination Blitz

The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus on Tuesday (April 13, 2021) completed the first staging of the Vaccination Blitz on the Mona Campus operating a site on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The efforts were led by the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre (MAWC) with the support of UWI Medical students, administrators, alumni, Professors and medical doctors from the Faculty of Medical Sciences who administered the vaccine. Thanks to their efforts some 7621 persons received their first jabs including over 300 persons in their vehicles who unable to access the Centre. This total represents 10% of the vaccines administered island-wide.

The Mona Campus wishes to extend gratitude also to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who supported the work of the University. Their support ensured an orderly and smooth process for all persons who visited the site during the 5-day exercise.

Prof. Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Mona Campus said the facilitation of the Vaccination Blitz aligns with The UWI Mona’s commitment to the people of Jamaica in the fight against COVID-19. “We have offered our support to the Government through the MOHW with our medical experts on staff and our students who have given more than 16,000 hours of voluntary service since the onset of COVID-19. And we stand ready to do more.”

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Jamaica, more than a year ago, The UWI has been taking swift actions, to include the establishment of the UWI COVID-19 Taskforce. This was followed by some 80 medical students volunteering to support the government’s National COVID-19 hotline where the students handled over 31,000 calls while benefiting from hands-on experience enhancing their formal medical school training as well as achieving the satisfaction of knowing that they were a very important part of history in Jamaica’s COVID-19 response. The students also benefited from real life training in the non-medical aspects of a national response to a pandemic. This Prof. Webber noted could never be taught in a classroom. Further, upwards of 130 volunteers in various capacities were engaged the fight with some 16,000 volunteer hours and counting.

Professor of Public Health & Ageing and Head of the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre, Prof. Denise Eldemire-Sharer, expressed her gratitude to the internal and external efforts that made the successful 5-day Vaccination Blitz possible. “I was delighted to see the outpour of support from the Community over the period. Our UWI team of students, staff and alumni from the medical fraternity answered to our call for support and went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that every single person who wanted a vaccine got it”. She reiterated Prof Webber’s sentiments stating that her team stands ready to support the Government’s efforts again to ensure herd immunity in Jamaica.

Regular vaccination activities recommence on Monday April 19, 2021 at the MAWC by appointments through the MOHW website.

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