As Christmas draws near, the Ministry of Health is reminding persons to update their COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the spread of the disease.
National Epidemiologist Dr. Michelle Francois in a recent public health announcement noted that in addition to COVID-19, other respiratory viruses such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus and influenza are already on the rise.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus and influenza are more prevalent in the colder months, Francois intimated, adding that children are currently the ones who are most affected.
“Remember that the same actions taken to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and transmitting it to others will also help to reduce the spread of these other respiratory viruses. These everyday actions include (making) time to update your COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. (Also), remember to wash your hands and avoid touching your face. If you are ill, please remain at home and don’t transmit to others. As we usher in the festive season please be mindful,” Francois said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George also encouraged Saint Lucians to take the necessary precautions to preserve their health this festive season.
“This season let us reflect on the positive aspects, appreciate our family and friends, and show gratitude for health life and simple accomplishments. Let us also reach out to the less fortunate. As we celebrate this season, let us ensure that our actions preserve health and safety,” Belmar-George said.
Other health professionals also echoed a similar message such as Dr. Sherry Ephraim, Chief Dental Surgeon; Dr. Gail Gajadhar, Senior Medical Officer (Infectious Diseases Unit), Richard Cheong pharmacist, and Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert, Senior Medical Officer (Non-Communicable Diseases Unit).