THE Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs has noted an increase in respiratory infections over the last four weeks. Generally, the flu season runs from October to March annually, and during that period, we normally see an increase in the number of persons with flu-like symptoms, both at the public and private health facilities.
As Saint Lucia continues to record confirmed cases of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs encourages persons who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, or are partially vaccinated to visit their nearest wellness center and get vaccinated. Persons with chronic illnesses and the elderly are particularly advised to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination remains the best protection against severe Covid-19 illness, hospitalization and death. The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs informs the public of the availability of the Covid-19 and influenza vaccine at the community wellness centers.
Like Covid-19, the flu is a contagious and potentially serious respiratory disease that can result in unfavourable outcomes such as severe illness, hospitalization and death. Therefore it is important for persons, especially our vulnerable population and the elderly to be vaccinated against the virus causing the flu,” Bernadette Felix-Regis, Deputy Immunization Manager in the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
Th flu virus changes constantly, and as a result, “the vaccine is updated from one season to the next, to protect against newer influenza virus strains. For this reason, it is recommended that persons get vaccinated annually,” Felix-Regis added.
The Pfizer vaccine, Janssen Covid-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine are available at all wellness centers from Monday, September 11, 2023. It is important to note, both the Covid-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine can be administered at the same time.
The Pfizer vaccine is available from Monday September 11, to Saturday September 30, 2023, whilst the Janssen vaccine is available until January 31, 2024.
The public is advised to access the vaccines during that period as they may not be available after those dates.
Persons are encouraged to call or visit their nearest wellness center to access the Covid-19 and influenza vaccines. They are available free of charge to the public.
For additional information, persons can call the Community Health Services Unit at 468-5321.