JIS News

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is advising members of the public that there are some typical reactions to vaccines that can be expected 24 to 48 hours after receiving the jab.

In an interview with JIS News, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Melody Ennis, said that reactions to vaccines are a regular occurrence.

“These reactions are what we normally get to vaccines – pain at the injection site, swelling at that site, a fever, feeling fatigued or listless, flu-like symptoms, a cough or runny nose,” she said, adding that those are typical or normal with vaccines.

“Now, if you’re very, very unfortunate, they may last longer, but outside of that, they are quite transient, and those are the common ones,” she said.

Dr. Ennis pointed out that persons may get abdominal pain, while others may experience vomiting or a rash and some itching, “so those are other side effects or adverse effects, as they’re called, and are not very common”.

The Family Health Services Director pointed out that there are some other things that may be associated with vaccines, “and in order for us to say they are connected, we have to do our cause and effect and our investigations”.

She gave one example, a condition called thrombocytopenia, which is the lowering of platelets, which is responsible for the (blood) clotting mechanism in the body.

“So, you can get a reduction in platelets, or you can get nervous involvement, or you can get something called Guillain Barre Syndrome or Transverse Myelitis,” Dr. Ennis explained.

“We have the listing and if anybody develops any of those, those are conditions that require admission and for most of them, when the investigations are done, it is recognised that it is not due to vaccines at all,” she added, while reiterating that these reactions are very rare.

The Family Health Services Director pointed out that there are systems in place to monitor the after-effects of vaccines and that the relevant refresher training has already taken place for the vaccination teams.

Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccines for Immunisation (ESAVIS) and Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) are reported into the World Health Organization’s surveillance system and investigated accordingly.

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