Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 1:32 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is calling on the caregivers and relatives of people over 60 years old, to assist in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign and bring them in for their shots.
Today, Dr. Natalia Beer, a member National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), explained that the MOHW is seeking to vaccinate some 25,000 older persons as one of the main priority groups, but so far has only managed to vaccinate 8,400 (33 percent of the target amount). Beer said that the Ministry has done a rapid assessment to learn why the vaccination count in this particular target population is low and has found several notable factors.
“Access to transportation is an issue; not having someone that really cares for them to come out. Elders caring for elders is another issue we found. Another item is the negative information that has been spread that is creating unnecessary fear in the target population,” Beer said.
She noted that there were reports coming out of Europe of around 30 people who ended up with dangerous blood clotting issues after receiving their vaccine, but a later review of the cases showed that the vaccines are indeed safe. Beer also pointed out there have been 448 million vaccine shots issued worldwide, with only a small amount of cases needing some kind of review. Beer stressed that the rewards of getting the vaccine far outweigh the risks.
“The benefits of the vaccine are reduced severe illnesses due to COVID-19, reduced hospitalizations, and reduced number of deaths due to COVID-19,” Beer said. “It’s not fair for an elder to be exposed to COVID-19 when, COVID-19 is now a vaccine-preventable disease,” she added.
The Ministry is rolling out the vaccines in phases and says that the official start of another phase cannot commence until they have met the vaccination targets of the first phase, which includes the elderly.
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