More than 26,000 get first vaccine jabs after strict COVID-19 measures introduced – Health Minister


More than 26,000 persons have taken the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine since the government introduced new measures at the start of this month, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said on Thursday.

“I have seen that since the measures have gone in place, from reports, more than 26,698 would have come forward and gotten their first dose vaccine and I think that is good,” the Health Minister said.

On average, at the 132 vaccination sites functioning across the country, health officials see more than 2,000 persons daily taking their first dose.

“These are very good numbers and I want to encourage more people to come and take the vaccines,” the Minister added.

Government is working to acquire more vaccines and according to the Minister,  a shipment of the second component of the Russian manufactured Sputnik V vaccine in “a week or so time”.

Added to that, another shipment of the Oxford AstraZeneca is also expected in the coming week.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.

Though the vaccines are not mandatory, the newly gazetted COVID-19 measures prevent unvaccinated persons from accessing certain facilities and services.

Unvaccinated persons are no longer allowed into ministries and government agencies except by appointment, while those vaccinated are urged to walk with their vaccination cards at all times.

Moreover, health care workers as well as operators of minibuses, taxis and speedboat operators have been given a two week ‘grace period’ to comply with the recently gazetted COVID-19 measures.

That ‘grace period’ is to ensure compliance with the gazetted order has been granted.

Thus far, Dr. Anthony reported that the local health authorities have been able to administer 279,489 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines; this amounts to approximately 57.4 percent of the targeted adult population.

Additionally, some 146,091 people, or 30% percent of the adult population, have received both their first and second doses.

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