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MOH launches full scale COVID-19 national vaccination programme

Vaccination drive

MOH launches full scale COVID-19 national vaccination programme
A nurse checking the vitals of a man before he receives his jab

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The ministry of health’s drive to vaccinate over 50,000 Vincentians against COVID-19 over the next six weeks began in full this Wednesday and will continue in Georgetown, Chateaubelair, Pembroke and Calliaqua this weekend.

MOH launches full scale COVID-19 national vaccination programme
CMO Dr Simone Keizer-Beache in conversation with a man who just
received his COVID-19 jab at Victoria Park

The full scale launch of the COVID-19 National Vaccination Deployment Programme was held at the Victoria Park in Kingstown and at health centres throughout the country.

On Wednesday, approximately 427 people received the Covishield (Indian) AstraZeneca vaccine at the Victoria Park, while about 172 others took the jab at clinics and workplaces across the country, an official told SEARCHLIGHT.

The plan is to inoculate at least 70 per cent of the country’s population in order to achieve community immunity.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Simone Keizer-Beache said the vaccination program began at 9 am, but persons turned up long before the start time.

She said interested persons may go to the Victoria Park today, while over the weekend, the vaccination team will journey to areas outside of Kingstown.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 6, the vaccine ‘caravan’ will be at the Chateaubelair SMART Hospital, the Buccament Polyclinic, and the Georgetown Police Station from 9:00 a.m.

On Sunday, the caravan will journey to the Calliaqua Playing Field where vaccines will be administered from 9:00 a.m.

Persons may also go to their various community clinics to receive the vaccine at any time during the day.

The CMO said that according to the expiry date of the vaccines in their possession, they have to be administered by the end of June.

MOH launches full scale COVID-19 national vaccination programme
Persons at Victoria Park awaiting their turn to receive their Covishield jab

“We are now in March, that’s three months; we can do that. We actually want to do it long before the end of June. We want to use the 40,000 as first and second dose,” Keizer-Beache said.

She noted that one female complained of shortness of breath during the process at Victoria Park and that person was sent to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), and it was later reported that she was fine.

“That was the only complaint really. Some persons had a little soreness which is normal; if we think about when our children have their vaccine, we would give them a little Paracetamol, and everyone else was good,” Keizer-Beache said.

She noted that persons taking the vaccine should expect to have, “some pain, a little fever, a little headache and chills and so on and some people have nausea, vomiting…”

It was noted that apart from walk-in, on-the-spot immunizations, the drive also provides information, public education and awareness.

On Wednesday, several public / popular figures including commissioner of police Colin John, deputy commissioner of police Frankie Joseph, comedians Shevrell “Candyman” McMillan and Randy Spartan, entertainers Rondy “Luta” McIntosh and Juniel ‘Lola’ Alexander and journalist Lyf Compton took the vaccine.

St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020 and as at Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 1646 cases have been reported. There have been 954 recoveries, 684 cases remain active and eight persons with Covid-19 have died.