Thu | Dec 2, 2021

Vaccines work, says St Ann’s Bay paediatrician

Published:Thursday | March 11, 2021 | 12:23 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Dr Coralie Antoine, head of the Paediatric Department at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, was first in line at the institution during Wednesday’s vaccination roll-out. Administering the shot is public health nurse Tricia Wilson.
Dr Coralie Antoine, head of the Paediatric Department at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, was first in line at the institution during Wednesday’s vaccination roll-out. Administering the shot is public health nurse Tricia Wilson.

Head of the paediatric department at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, Dr Coralie Antoine, has added her voice to those encouraging Jamaicans to take the AstraZeneca vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.

Antoine, who was the first person in St Ann to get the COVID-19 shot as the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), rolled out its vaccination programme on Wednesday morning, said she was elated to lead by example.

“We vaccinate children every day as paediatricians, and vaccines are proven, vaccines work, and under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s very important that we get the word out,” Antoine told reporters around 15 minutes after being injected by public health nurse Tricia Wilson at the hospital.

Antoine, who reported that she was feeling great after the jab, said the rest of the day would be “work as usual”.

Lana-Kay Swaby-Clarke was the first registered nurse to be administered the vaccine at St Ann’s Bay, following in the footsteps of Antoine.

Meanwhile, St Ann Custos Norma Walters was the first non-medical person in the parish to get vaccinated. She got hers along with husband and former custos, Radcliffe O. Walters, at the Ocho Rios Health Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

“We thank the Government of Jamaica and our local health service for the signal honour to be exemplars and to express our confidence in the process for COVID-19 mitigation,” Walters told The Gleaner after her 1:30 p.m. appointment.

A GREAT DAY, GREAT RESPONSE

Departmental nurse manager and acting director of nursing services at St Ann’s Bay Hospital, Carmen L Johnson, said the vaccination programme was going smoothly and described Wednesday as a “great day”.

Johnson, the immediate past president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, said the hospital was hoping to vaccinate 60 of its employees on the first day.

“The Accident and Emergency Department is prepared for any adverse event that may occur,” she said confidently.

Lorraine Brown-Wright, acting CEO at St Ann’s Bay Hospital, said the initial focus is on the MONA areas – maternity, operating theatre, neonates, and accident and emergency. She said she was pleased with the response from staff.

According to NERHA, the vaccination locations across the region are at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, Ocho Rios Health Centre, and Alexandria Community Hospital in St Ann; Annotto Bay Health Centre and Port Maria Health Centre in St Mary; and the Port Antonio Hospital, and the Fair Prospect, Buff Bay, and Port Antonio health centres.