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Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Health authorities pushing booster shots to combat COVID-19 spike

Health authorities pushing booster shots to combat COVID-19 spike

With 601 active COVID-19 cases as of January 3, 2022, and a newly recorded death, local health authorities in the Virgin Islands (VI) continue to advocate for the COVID-19 vaccines as the ultimate tool to combat the virus.

The Government’s vaccination mandate was again emphasised by Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald E. Georges who called on unvaccinated persons to take the jab.

“All unvaccinated persons should get vaccinated and all persons who are already 3 months after their last vaccination should have a booster,” Dr Georges during a January 3, 2022, update on the local COVID situation.

“Higher levels of neutralising antibodies in the population will both reduce spread and severity of illness at the individual and population levels,” he added while noting that persons who suspect that they may be infected with the virus to remember that COVID-19 must be taken seriously.

The Government’s vaccination mandate was again emphasised by Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald E. Georges who called on uncovenanted persons to take the jab during a January 3, 2022, update on the local COVID situation.


Jabs add more effectiveness to fully vaccinated persons


“Sick persons should isolate themselves and seek to get tested by rapid antigen test or PCR. At this present time, we are recommending that persons isolate for a minimum period of 10 days and with resolution of any fever for at least 24 hours,” he said.

In a previous update, he said the current vaccines offer very good protection against severe disease, hospitalisation, and death associated with Delta infection.

“Current evidence from the United Kingdom and South Africa demonstrate that two doses of vaccine are about 35 percent effective while adding a booster dose increases effectiveness against infection with Omicron up to 75 percent. Vaccination uniformly and significantly reduces the risks of severe disease, hospitalisation, and death from COVID infection.”

He said the findings of the UK COV-Boost survey were that the mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer jabs, give the best overall increase in neutralising antibodies and immunity as a booster vaccine after a primary course of COVID vaccination.

Pfizer vaccine, an mRNA vaccine was then chosen as the easier vaccine to supply to the Territories. There are no safety concerns with having a Pfizer vaccine after a full series of AstraZeneca,” Dr Georges underscored.

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