Close to 2,000 persons receive COVID-19 booster shots
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–Health Ministry to relook at administration process amid spread of Omicron

THE Ministry of Health is seeing a favourable increase in the administration of the COVID-19 booster shots to the adult population here, following its roll-out last week.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, said some 1,914 persons have so far received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think it’s now picking, up; a lot of people are coming forward now. Initially, it started out very slow. A couple of regions didn’t start their booster campaign on time, but I think that’s getting much better now,” the minister said.

Since the roll-out of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign earlier this year, the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been administered to various persons. For persons who took the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, a booster shot of the Sinopharm vaccine is recommended 52 days after the dose.

Those who took the Sinopharm vaccine, could take the same vaccine as their booster shot three to six months after the second jab.
It is advised that persons who have been immunised using the AstraZeneca vaccine, could receive an mRNA vaccine, which should be taken six months after the second dose. A shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could be used as a booster shot for the Sputnik V vaccine.

Currently, only a select group of persons are eligible for the jabs. But in light of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, Dr. Anthony said this is being re-examined.

“We’re right now considering various options, but, as of now, the requirements are that if you’re 50 years older, and you would have gotten your second dose about six months ago, then you’re eligible for a booster shot.

“If you are 18 years and older and you have a comorbidity or several comorbidities then you can get a booster shot once you have the time interval. If you are a frontline worker, and you’re 18 years and older, then you can get a booster shot,” the Health Minister said.

Previously, Dr. Anthony said several studies were used to guide the decision to begin the administration of booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Booster doses are currently available at all of the Ministry of Health’s vaccination sites countrywide. (DPI)

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