Medical Officer of Health, St. Elizabeth Health Services, Dr. Tonia Dawkins-Beharie, says steps are being taken to ramp up vaccination coverage in the parish.
She told JIS News that more than 20.5 per cent of residents have been vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), and while the figure ranks St. Elizabeth among the parishes with the highest vaccination coverage “we still have quite a bit of way to go”.
“We are not comfortable by this coverage, although when compared to the other parishes, we are not doing too badly,” Dr. Beharie said.
She told JIS News that community sensitisation is ongoing with outreach activities being conducted in more than 40 communities across the parish.
She noted that there are daily vaccination sessions at the six health centres across the parish, which are in Black River, Santa Cruz, Junction, Southfield, Balaclava and Maggoty.
“We are offering three types of vaccines – AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson,” she informed.
“So, we want to encourage persons to come out to one of our sites and get vaccinated. This way, we can minimise the impact of any possible future surges, the impact on individuals and their families, and reduce the burden on the healthcare system,” she noted.
At the monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation in Black River on November 11, Dr. Beharie reported that “there has been a trending down in the number of COVID-19 cases that we get daily over the past few weeks”.
“We still have infections, as you can see by the number of active cases, but it’s significantly less than it was during the surge that we had in August to September,” she noted.
As of November 11, St. Elizabeth had 4,006 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of that number, 3,605 persons had recovered while 141 were active cases.
In addition, 260 deaths were reported of which 219 were confirmed, 13 were coincidental deaths, and 28 were under investigation.
Dr. Beharie is reminding persons to continue to wear their masks, maintain physical distance, stay at home if they are sick and to wash their hands regularly.