Health department pushes to increase Hanover’s vaccination numbers
THE HANOVER Health Department (HHD) has said it will be seeking to inoculate approximately 6,000 persons in the western parish over the next four weeks as part of its effort to boost the national campaign to get as many Jamaicans as possible to buy into the national effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking at last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), Dr Kaushal Singh, the medical officer of health (MOH) for Hanover, said the infection rate over the last two months has been very taxing on the energies of the health team in the parish, as they have been unrelenting in their efforts to get persons to take the COVID-19 ‘jab.’
“Since the start of the pandemic, up until yesterday (last Wednesday), we have had 2,893 COVID-19 positive cases, among them, 2,762 nationals and 131 non-nationals... .” added Singh.
Singh also pointed out that, to date, there have been 158 COVID-19-related deaths in Hanover. He said most of the deceased persons were elderly individuals with comorbidities.
“These deaths could have been prevented if the vaccination coverage were high, but what is consolation right now basically is that, over the last two weeks, we have seen a large decline … over the last 24 hours, we have had only three positive cases and for the last two weeks, there has been no (COVID-19-related) death reported,” said Singh.
In emphasising the importance of getting vaccinated, Singh pointed out that the statistics at present are showing that of the 75,519 residents in the parish, only 13,355 have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while only 10 per cent of the total population, 8,227, are completed vaccinated.
Singh is of the view that the statistics are as encouraging as the health authorities would have liked, and as a consequence, his department will be doubling its efforts to reach and convince more residents to get vaccinated.
The MOH further stated that the HHD will be increasing the number of vaccination sites across the parish for the month of October, and will also expanding its outreach programmes to educate and inform the residents in relation to getting vaccinated.
“In the next 20 days, we are looking to vaccinate at least 6,000 residents. We are willing to vaccinate every day at the sites,” stated Singh, who further noted that, in addition to the five fixed sites in the parish, several other vaccination sites will be established to support the programme.
Singh is also suggesting that if residents can identify a suitable location in their respective areas, and the number of persons willing to get vaccinated supports the location, then the HHD is willing and ready to visit and give the vaccine at those locations.