MINISTER of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, has noted that, over the past few weeks the Ministry of Health has seen a “general uptake” in the number of persons being administered their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Minister Anthony, during his daily COVID-19 update with the Department of Public Information (DPI), on Monday, noted that this represents a positive change that will benefit the country holistically in curtailing the deadly effects of the virus.
“We have seen a general uptake in the first dose vaccination which is very good and I want to encourage people to continue coming and getting their vaccines. Second dose, we would like to see a bigger uptake there as people who have received their first dose haven’t come back for their second dose. We want to urge them to do so because we have the second dose being available,” said Minister Anthony.
Government has been rolling out an aggressive COVID-19 vaccination programme which gives anyone above the age of 18 the opportunity to receive either the Russian-produced Sputnik V vaccine, the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine or the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
The ministry has been recording decreasing numbers of positive cases since government started intensifying its countrywide vaccination campaign. In the past 24 hours the country has recorded just 14 new cases. Regarding the 14 new cases, Minister Anthony acknowledged that while this number may not reflect the true number of new cases, the ministry has recorded a notable decrease in positive cases in recent months.
“On average we do much more. We are closer to 1500 or so tests per day so perhaps this low number of 14 is not a true reflection of the number we have over the past 24 hours.
Active cases of today have gone up slightly so we were last week around 900 or so [and] now it’s 1001. But we have seen a decreasing trend in cases so the numbers generally have gone down a bit and across the regions we are seeing that,” said Minister Anthony.
So far, 287,837 or 59.1% adults have received their first dose. Of that number, about 147,128 or 30.2% have received both doses and are now fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Minister Anthony used the opportunity to encourage those persons who had received the Sputnik V first dose in April and May to make their way to a COVID-19 vaccination site to be administered their second dose.
“Last week we received 5000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and we’re going to continue to get Sputnik V second dose vaccines every week. So those that we got last week we have started giving them as of this week. So as of today, they will be given and this will be given first to the persons who had their first dose in April and in May. So, if you got your first dose in April or May you can come forward now and get your second dose. We have distributed or allocated doses to all the regions,” said Minister Anthony.