Unvaccinated residents of Westmoreland continue to be hospitalised for the COVID-19 virus, prompting health officials to further boost their COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
During a monthly meeting of the municipal corporation in the parish, Dr Marcia Graham, medical officer of health for Westmoreland, said since February 2023 there have been 10 suspected COVID-related deaths that are under investigation.
“We continue to have unvaccinated adults being admitted to hospital, and so we still are encouraging persons to get vaccinated. We have the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. One dose gives you good protection and we have the Sinopharm as well,” said Graham.
Older citizens with chronic conditions were especially encouraged to take the jab, as well as children 12 years and younger.
“Some are at early-childhood and primary schools, and so we really will be looking at how we can identify all of these children and do what is necessary to protect them,” she said.
“Measles, polio and other such diseases, we can do without as a parish, and we have vaccines that have been effective in preventing these, and we need to ensure that we don’t have any vulnerable children,” said Graham.
She added that the Ministry of Health is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Youth to reach unvaccinated children.
“May is Child Month, and so by the end of May 2023 the requirement is that all students need to have a copy of their immunisation record at the school, because the Ministry of Health will be partnering with the schools to assess these records to see if all the children are adequately immunised for their age. Where there are gaps identified, we will fill that gap by administering the vaccines,” she informed.