The recently held Port Community Vaccination Blitz resulted in the inoculation of nearly 600 persons. The Blitz was staged by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica, Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL), Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL) and the South East Regional Health Authority.
The event was held at Kingston Wharves Limited’s Kingport Building Car Park over two days and saw port workers, business operators and residents from neighbouring communities attending the blitz to get their vaccinations.
Captain Sydney Innis, Vice President for Safety and Security at the Port Authority of Jamaica noted: “The Vaccination Blitz was a major success with many persons expressing satisfaction with the arrangement and the opportunity afforded them to have the vaccines brought close to their place of work.”
He observed that various segments of the port community took advantage of the opportunity and got vaccinated including stevedores, managers, customs brokers, truckers, freight forwarders and others.
“The time, effort and support of Kingston Wharves Limited, the Kingston Freeport Limited, the Port Authority of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the South East Regional Health Authority were well rewarded with the very good turnout we had,” Captain Innis stated.
Kingston Wharves’ Manager for Safety, Health and the Environment Dean Williams who helped organise the event, agreed that the vaccine blitz was a success, despite the rains on day-two which impacted participation. “I believe we got a good response in spite of the inclement weather. From a Kingston Wharves standpoint, it was important that we helped to organise, drive and participate in this blitz for the benefit of our team members and the wider maritime community, because we are an essential service and part of a vital industry. The threat from COVID-19 is real, and KWL as an organisation will continue to play its part by maintaining robust internal measures while supporting the national move to stop the spread of the virus and the national vaccination effort,” Mr. Williams stated.
In the meantime, Mrs. Caron Anderson – Head, Human Resources & Industrial Relations at KFTL said, “KFTL is firmly committed to Jamaica’s pandemic response and vaccination is a critical component of our own COVID management plan. It helps to protect our team and their families as well as the Company’s operations, so everyone benefits.
“We are on board with the ‘Get Vaccinated, Get Back to Life mantra and really appreciated the partnership with the Ministry and the port community. It was indeed a boost for our vaccination drive and we are very happy that our team members took advantage of the opportunity. Together we can do it and together we can achieve so much more,” Mrs. Anderson said.
Shaneka Peat, Stevedore Coordinator at KWL and Lafaine McGregor, Cargo Information Validation Supervisor from KFTL who got vaccinated at the blitz both reported a positive experience.
“With it being my second dose of the vaccine, I was happy to get it over with. The process was easy, simple and fast; and luckily no side effects for me,” Miss Peat said.
Miss McGregor noted, “I was due my second dose and the blitz came at a convenient time. The process was seamless. Within minutes I got my shot, waited the requisite 15 minutes, then my vaccination card was returned, and I was off.”