With more than 10,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine already administered, the Ministry of Health is formulating plans for mass vaccination exercises in the coming weeks as part of its second phase vaccination campaign.
The Ministry is also calling on members of the public and care-givers who have family members and other individuals with special needs, including the elderly and people with mobility challenges who are unable to access the vaccination sites, to register such individuals at the community wellness center nearest them.
“Vaccination will be facilitated through home visits by the Community Health Nurses. Vaccines have proven to save lives. People are therefore encouraged to access the various sites for the vaccine. Ensure that a valid form of identification is taken with you when coming for the vaccine to assist entering you into our national Health Management Information System,” explained the Ministry.
“We encourage people who fall within Phase Two to pre-register to receive their vaccine. Pre-registering is valuable to us at the Ministry of Health as it assists us in our forward planning for the logistics and resources required at vaccination sites. By so doing it helps us in better meeting your demand as we continue vaccinations nationally,” the Ministry acknowledged earlier this week.
The Ministry, over the past two weeks, had placed emphasis on reaching the target groups in Phases 1A and 1B, ensuring that as many people in these target groups are protected. These include frontline workers within clinical and national security settings, senior citizens and people living with chronic health conditions.
When Saint Lucia launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on February 17, 2021, the Ministry’s initial focus was on people who were at greatest risk of exposure to the virus or to having severe outcomes if they contract it.
“The response at the various vaccination sites has been very encouraging. This level of interest we see as an appreciation by our citizens of the health benefits of the vaccines and the opportunity it presents for regaining some measure of normality as continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccination campaign has been undertaken by bringing together partners across all sectors and with a wide range of interest,” noted the Ministry in a statement.
“This partnership has started with us within the health care sector, with the public and private health care practitioners undertaking national vaccination efforts collaboratively. The successful roll-out of the campaign also requires the involvement of our non-health allies across all sectors nationally including the commercial, tourism, education and transportation sectors to name just a few. It is important that these sectors are targeted as people within these groupings are at medium risk of being exposed to COVID-19,” the Ministry stated.
The Ministry stated that upon entry into a site, each individual will be registered by one of its team members, which will be followed by the administering of the vaccine, after which, there will be an observation period of 15 minutes to monitor for any immediate adverse events which may occur after vaccination. Health Educators and nurses will also provide information on the vaccine as well as provide guidance on how to manage any side effects which may occur.