Medical Officer of Health for St. James, Dr. Marcia Johnson-Campbell, is encouraging parents to continue taking their children to be vaccinated at public health centres, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The benefits of having the child vaccinated far outweigh any risk of [getting] COVID. So, getting the child vaccinated on time must be considered a priority,” she said in an interview with JIS News.
She added that it is imperative, particularly at this time, that parents must ensure that they are keeping their appointments at health centres.
“We try to give batched appointments, so we don’t want everybody to come at the same time, because that will cause overcrowding. We want people to keep their appointments and if you are given a particular time slot, go within that time,” Dr. Johnson-Campbell emphasised.
She further advised that persons must ensure that they wear masks to the health centre, in order to be given entry, and to carry their hand sanitisers.
Dr. Johnson-Campbell said that if the child or parent is ill with respiratory symptoms when visiting the health centre, medical personnel must be made aware on arrival, so that they can be separated from other persons at the facility.
“We do not want persons who have cough and cold and are sneezing to be sitting with other persons. We try to separate them, but you have to identify yourself. Once you arrive, you say, ‘Listen, I am having a cough or cold’, and they will direct you to sit in a particular area, so that you will be away from [others],” she said.
“While you are in the health centre, if you are coughing and sneezing, make sure you have a tissue that you will use to cover your mouth and nose and dispose of safely, and wash your hands as frequently as possible,” Dr. Johnson-Campbell advised.
Additionally, she said that children five years and older must also wear a mask to enter the facility. Parents must ensure that those too young to wear a mask sanitise their hands frequently, as they tend to touch surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose and mouth.