Fri | Dec 3, 2021

Good first day for COVID jabs in St Thomas

Published:Thursday | March 11, 2021 | 12:22 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

Just over a third of the complement of nurses at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in Morant Bay, St Thomas, have so far registered to be immunised against COVID-19 as Jamaica kicked off its vaccination drive across the island yesterday.

Other health workers across the parish have also shown interest in the immunisation effort.

Galbert Johnson, head male attendant and the first to be vaccinated at the PMH, dismissed concerns being raised over the vaccine as he declared his faith in the health system.

“I was never concerned. I’ve always believed that the hierarchy of the health system would put out their best efforts to see that the nation gets the best. This virus is devastating the world and our nation, and I welcome the vaccine as a major help in the control of the virus,” he told The Gleaner after getting his first shot yesterday.

“I encourage all Jamaicans to take the vaccine and release this country from the medical and economical bondage that we are presently under,” Johnson added.

Medical officer of health for St Thomas, Dr D’Oyen Smith, was pleased with the interest shown by medical personnel in the vaccines so far. He pointed out that the parish had some 650 such personnel, including doctors, nurses, orderlies, and patient-care assistants.

Each group, he said, was represented on the first day of COVID vaccinations.

“ ... So far things look as if they are going smoothly. The acceptance and the take-up seems to be good,” observed Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who visited PMH yesterday.

“It’s the first day, so I know we still have some convincing to do because there are a number of others who may need questions answered and uncertainties addressed, but this is a good start, and I think we are making some progress. We’re happy with what we see,” he added.

On Tuesday, St Thomas recorded some 53 COVID-19 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total figure since the start of the pandemic a year ago to 1,003.