by Leon Norville
Health officials are ramping up efforts to ensure that the almost 2,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines set to expire between June 28 and 30 are used up before their expiry dates.
The mobile vaccination unit has been at key locations this week and there has also been an extension to opening hours at public vaccination sites – strategies which are showing success, they said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas told Observer, “We are trying to use the vaccines by the end of the expiration date.”
She is urging people who have not yet received a jab to get one.
“I encourage people to come forward please. For the most part the vaccine is safe, and we have not had any adverse effects since we started the vaccination process on island,” she said.
The CMO added that the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risk of catching Covid-19.
Minutes from this week’s Cabinet meeting also expressed optimism that doses nearing expiration would be consumed in time.
“There will therefore be no reason to share the vaccines with a fellow Caribbean country, as previously announced,” the notes said.
To date, more than 36,000 residents have received an initial jab and almost 28,000 have had a second dose.
The public vaccination site at the Multipurpose Centre in Perry Bay is open Friday from 7am to 5pm and Saturday from 7am until 3pm.
The mobile unit will be in Nevis Street on Friday from 9am to 3pm. On Saturday, there will be one at the SR Olivia David Primary School in Bolans from 9am to 3pm and one at the Multipurpose Centre from 7am to 3pm.
Residents should take a government-issued photo identification with them.