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COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Too Low, Jn Baptiste

Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste
Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste

Health Minister Moses Jn Baptiste has expressed concern over the country’s low vaccination rate, calling for more vaccination awareness and creativity to increase vaccination numbers.

The minister made the statement to the online publication Loop St. Lucia earlier this week, as the island recorded more COVID-19 cases, with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs confirming a total of 74 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday alone.

Noting that the Ministry must be persistent in its efforts, Jn Baptiste said that there are “many challenges, but we will not give up and (we will) continue to try.”

“The rate continues to be low and we hope to push that rate up.  There is a need to strengthen the vaccination exercise sensitization.  As with any other public health measure, we have to be persistent and consistent, creative as well, to cause people to understand the decision to get vaccinated is best for their health,” Loop St. Lucia quoted the minister as saying.

But Saint Lucia has a long way to go before it reaches herd immunity, something the Ministry longs to accomplish. As of Thursday, a total of 53, 583 individuals were fully vaccinated. Another 5, 334 were partially vaccinated and 7, 286 received their booster shot.

“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs confirms a total of 74 new cases of COVID-19. These samples were processed on Wednesday May 4, 2022, from a total of 254 samples of which 232 samples were from the Ezra Long Laboratory and 22 samples from the Laboratory Services and Consultations Limited. These samples were collected on May 3, 2022, and May 4, 2022,” the Ministry said Thursday.

These positive cases make up 29.1% of all the samples processed on that date. It brought the total number of cases diagnosed in country Thursday to 23, 612.

“The number of active cases in country to date is 262. Confirmation was also received of the recovery of 24 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. Currently, there are seven positive cases of COVID-19 admitted at the Respiratory Hospital of which one is critically ill,” a statement from the Ministry read in part.

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