Tecla Jn. Baptiste, Assistant Principal Nursing Officer and Immunization Manager, Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Elderly Tuesday said that 23.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“As of Tuesday, November 2, 2021, (we) administered a total of 51,539 first doses, and 43, 265 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Jn. Baptiste said.
She said that the vaccine uptake trend notes the highest uptake in the 24 to 49 years age group, followed by persons 50 years and older.
“We continue to encourage younger persons to get vaccinated because COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of age,” Jn. Baptiste said.
As part of the reviewed National Plan, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs has undertaken a two-week accelerated COVID-19 Vaccination Drive, which commenced on Monday October 25, 2021, making COVID-19 vaccines more available and accessible to the public.
“The National Programme has also introduced a Pfizer booster dose, particularly to the most at-risk population group that is people 65 years and older; those living with underlying medical conditions and frontline workers,” Jn. Baptiste said.
What exactly is a booster and why is it highly recommended for at-risk groups?
“It is an additional dose administered to a vaccinated population that has completed a primary vaccination series. The purpose of the booster is to increase the body’s immune response to COVID-19, especially in the wake of the Delta variant,’ Jn. Baptiste explained.
“The COVID-19 vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. People 65 years and older should get a booster,” Jn. Baptiste added.
According to Jn. Baptiste the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underling medical conditions.
She notes that while the booster dose is recommended for the high-risk population, any person who has had their two doses and desires a booster dose can come forward for the booster dose.
Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are available at all Wellness Centres and vaccination sites.
“Let us all take this personal responsibility to protect ourselves and loved ones,” Jn. Baptiste stated.