Mon | Dec 6, 2021

More space needed for vaccination in Mandeville

Published:Friday | March 12, 2021 | 12:20 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Public Health Nurse Maxine Isaacs administering a shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Senior Medical Officer Dr Everton McIntosh at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester on Wednesday.
Public Health Nurse Maxine Isaacs administering a shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Senior Medical Officer Dr Everton McIntosh at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester on Wednesday.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

The health authorities in Manchester are now seeking additional space in Mandeville to continue its vaccination programme, which it kicked off on Wednesday with front-line healthcare workers at the Mandeville Regional Hospital.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Shonette Blair-Walters said the Mandeville Health Centre is already constrained with its current services and cannot accommodate what it hopes will be an overwhelming influx of persons seeking inoculation against COVID-19.

“Mandeville is very dense in terms of population, so we need an extra site. The Mandeville Health Centre serves the community of Mandeville and surrounding communities and cannot accommodate the numbers in the town,” she pointed out yesterday as she addressed a meeting of the Manchester Municipal Corporation.

Landlocked by the tax office, the fire station, and a section of the municipal corporation’s premises, Blair-Walters said that even outdoor spaces at the health centre were congested.

“Only persons who work there can now park there. To be able to manage the crowds, Mandeville Health Centre would not be able to facilitate the vaccination procedure. Because we hope many people will take up the vaccine, we have to find an off-health-centre site to deal with crowd control,” she told councillors.

She pointed out that residents of other communities in the parish will be able to receive the vaccine at the type three health centre closest to them by appointment when the programme is expanded.

The type three health centres in the parish are located in Cross Keys, Porus, Christiana, Mile Gully, and Mandeville.

“There will be a central location in the town of Mandeville for vaccine for those who require it. There will be additional teams coming on board, and we hope to get mobile teams into other communities, but those have not yet fully come on board, and I don’t want to pre-empt the plans thus far,” added Blair-Walters.

Despite concerns over the safety of the jabs, she said that the health ministry is standing behind the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

“It was not just in 2020 that a vaccine against the coronavirus was being worked on,” she pointed out. “Certainly, a lot more effort was put into the development because of the [pandemic] in 2020 … .”

Blair-Walters stressed that precautionary measures such as mask-wearing and sanitising should continue even after receiving the shots.

“… The vaccine at the moment reduces the severity of virus should you contract it and reduces the likelihood that you die as a result of having the virus … . So far, it seems the body does not have lifetime immunity from COVID-19,” she said.

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Appointment

To make appointment at the health centres for vaccination, call:

Christiana Health Centre – (876) 796-2382

Mile Gully Health Centre – (876) 797-6920

Crosskeys Health Centre – (876) 797-3545

Newport Health Centre (876) 797-7547

Mandeville Health Centre – (876) 788-6216 or (876) 788-6249

Porus Health Centre – (876) 904-0493