With Barbados expecting to receive 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine this week, public health nurses have declared their readiness to undertake the largest mass vaccination programme in the island’s history, to fight the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Public Health Nurse and Senior Health Sister at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Rosanette Cooke, disclosed Sunday, during a press conference, that preparations ahead of the roll-out of the vaccination campaign commenced last Friday to examine all eventualities, including allergic reactions in some patients after receiving the vaccine.
“We have actually prepared our emergency trays…. We have all of our supplies ready, just waiting for the start date,” said Cooke, who has been in charge of vaccination programmes out of the Winston Scott Polyclinic since 2011.
After the vaccine is administered, immunized individuals will be monitored for 15 minutes before being discharged.
Co-ordinator of the Barbados COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, added the vaccine would not be administered to anyone under the age of 18, people who are allergic to the vaccine’s components, or people who have severe allergies, including those who use an EpiPen – a medical device used in emergencies to treat very severe allergic reactions.
Dr. Ferdinand, who announced the pending arrival of the vaccines which would be given to 50,000 people, as it is administered in two doses, is finalizing arrangements for the vaccine rollout.
It was also revealed that an application was being developed to provide individuals with an electronic copy of their certificate of vaccination, upon administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Ferdinand said while persons would receive a “hard copy” of their vaccination record, authorities were working on “a new app, where you can have your information that you’ve already entered updated, and you would be able to get your vaccination card or certification electronically”.
Meantime, Dr. Ferdinand who insisted that the vaccine is “safe and suitable”, was among officials who urged members of the public to take the opportunity to be immunized.