A historic moment: Mandeville hospital workers welcome vaccine
With more than 40 members of staff at the Mandeville Regional Hospital (MRH) contracting COVID-19 and 27 of them being from the high-risk group, workers at the facility yesterday welcomed day one of the vaccination programme.
Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the facility, Dr Everton McIntosh, was first in line to be vaccinated and described it as a historic moment for the hospital and the health services in its fight against the pandemic.
“We will be set up for this (vaccination) three days each week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – and each day we are targeting at least 40 workers. The only way to control this pandemic is for a significant portion of the population to be vaccinated against the virus,” McIntosh said.
The process requires each recipient of the vaccine to register first, then have their vital signs checked to assess their health status, before they are vaccinated. Following the vaccination, individuals are then placed in an observation and resuscitation room for 15-30 minutes, in the event that there is a negative reaction to the vaccine.
“Persons can be assured that they will be safe during the entire process. This particular vaccine that we are getting, which is the AstraZeneca vaccine, has been administered to millions around the world, and there have been no reports of serious reactions to it,” McIntosh added.
With more than 700 workers at the MRH, McIntosh said an achievement of herd immunity will augur well for the hospital and its ability to serve the public effectively during this time.
“With the vaccine, in the event that the virus escalates, at least our healthcare workers will be safe, so that we won’t have a collapse of the system, with a large number of our workers being out of action because they contracted the virus,” he said.
The SMO added that the protection of those with co-morbidities and those over the age of 60 is important, and remains a target of the vaccination programme.
Obstetrician and gynaecologist at the MRH, Dr Oladije Adekeye, was in the first group of persons to be vaccinated. He encouraged persons not to shun vaccination.
“What I have read in medical journals is that the vaccine is safe and I encourage persons to accept it. We want to protect ourselves, so we can protect the community. It is going to reduce the chances of medical workers getting sick, so this is a good step going forward,” he said.