The Health Ministry is advising residents who are scheduled to receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine next month, to come forward to receive it during June.
A release from the Ministry on Sunday noted that second dose appointments due between July 1and 17 should be met between June 14 and 20, while appointments due between July 18 and 31, should be met between June 21 and 30.
The Minister of Health, Sir Molwyn Joseph admitted that the adjustment was made to avoid the spoilage of over 4000 AstraZeneca vaccines which are expected to expire at the end of this month.
“Those people I think would have had their first vaccine for at least eight weeks and that would give them almost 100 percent of the maximum protection that we are hoping that the second dose will achieve for individuals. We want, however, to ensure that we do not have any spoiled vaccines in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said.
Joseph mentioned some people have already been showing up early for their second jab.
“As a matter of fact, when I did the census, sometimes there are people who show up for their second dose, but their scheduled appointment is in the first half of July. What we are saying is that those people would benefit just as well to show up now this week and get their second dose and they will get almost the maximum protection that’s contemplated. We hope that more than 5,000 people show up because we have more than 5,000 vaccines, but a minimum of 5000 people would have to show up to use up the vaccines that are scheduled to expire at the end of this month,” he added.
All vaccination sites will be open for the second dose appointments, including the Glanvilles Polyclinic, the Multipurpose Centre, the Villa Polyclinic and the Precision Centre in Paynters.
The Ministry also reminded that the vaccination cards received after the first dose are required for the second dose, along with a government-issued photo ID.