Although health officials recommend a booster COVID-19 jab for the high-risk population, a senior Saint Lucia Health official says anyone who has had two vaccine doses and desires a booster shot can get it.
National Immunisation Manager in the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs Tecla Jn Baptiste made the disclosure in a vaccination update on Wednesday.
Jn Baptiste explained that the purpose of the booster is to increase the body’s immune response to COVID-19, especially in the wake of the delta variant.
“The COVID-19 vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19,” she observed.
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“People 65 years and older should get a booster. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions,” Jn Baptiste explained.
As of Tuesday, November 2, 2021, she disclosed that Saint Lucia administered 51 539 first doses and 43 265 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
23.3% of the population have received complete vaccination against COVID-19.
Jn Baptiste said the highest uptake is in the 24 to 49 years group, followed by 50 and older.
“We continue to encourage younger persons and to get vaccinated because COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of age,” she stated.
At the same time, Jn Baptiste urged the public to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones.
As part of its reviewed National Plan, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs started a two-week accelerated COVID-19 Vaccination Drive on Monday, October 25, 2021, making COVID-19 vaccines more available and accessible to the public.
The National drive has also introduced a Pfizer booster dose, especially for the most at-risk population, including people 65 years and older, those living with underlying medical conditions, and frontline workers.