Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness recently signed the import permit to allow stocks of Ivermectin into Jamaica.
This comes after rising cases due to the COVID-19 Delta variant and increasing public pressure. Supplies of the generic, anti-parasitic drug will come from Edenbridge Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey and be distributed by LASCO Pharmaceuticals in Jamaica. In general, doctors are pleased about having Ivermectin as an option.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness’ current stance on Ivermectin is that there is not enough information to recommend or not recommend the drug for treating COVID-19 and is awaiting the results of larger trials to guide treatment and public health policies.
COVID-19 vaccines are not widely available in Jamaica, though the country is expected to get more vaccines in August. Approximately only 9% of the country is vaccinated. Jamaica was the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility, a global initiative formed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization to ensure vaccine equity around the globe. The overall goal of COVAX is to provide vaccines for 20% of each participating country’s population in 2021, though first-round shipments were meant to cover between only 2-3% of each country’s population. Both the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization do not recommend Ivermectin for treating COVID-19 and recommend that it only be used within clinical trials.