Grenada Health Authorities Worried about the Decline in Vaccination Rate

by Amelia Robinson

vaccination Broward county
(AP Photo/ Diomande Ble Blonde)

As the Covid-19 situation improves in Grenada, there has been a decline over the last three weeks in the number of persons taking the vaccine.

Speaking at the weekly post Cabinet press briefing, acting permanent secretary with responsibility for Hospital Services and Health Services, Julien St. Paul told reporters that the situation is troubling for health authorities.

Grenada in recent weeks recorded a considerable decline in the number of positive cases, hospitalization, deaths, and positivity rates linked to the pandemic.

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She said that the encouraging decline in infections came at a price, “not only a financial burden to our health system, but also one where we have lost a significant number of our elderly citizens.”

“It leaves us to ask the question, are we getting comfortable with the decline in the positivity rate? The number of new infections has been dropping consistently in the last three weeks. However, one death is too many.”

“We wish to take the opportunity to appeal to all. Let us not lower our guard because of the reduced level of positivity and restrictions. Let us all remember that while the numbers are down, the virus is still within our midst.”

St Paul further stated that the Ministry had to implement measures to re-assign health services and also had to put on hold specialist services within the hospital.

“ These actions had to be taken to obtain the necessary human resource to create additional health care teams to be deployed to communities and provide extended hours of services within the health districts.”

Meanwhile Dr. Tyhiesia Donald, Director of Medical Services is encouraging Grenadians to take the vaccine as it is the only way to get back to normal. She further stated that even though there has been a decline in the number of positive cases, persons should still follow the established Covid-19 guidelines; washing of hands, wearing of masks, sanitizing and social distancing.

“The numbers are decreasing, but in order to flatten the curve, behavior is very important. We want to ensure that we maintain good behavior to prevent the spread. If we continue to observe all Covid-19 protocols and avoid large crowds, the number will decrease and flatten the curve”.

Dr. Dolland Noel, Head of Internal Medicine, General Hospital is reporting that some persons who have contracted Covid-19 are now suffering from what he termed as “Post-covid Syndrome”.

“As a clinician, I can tell you that there are already patients who have Covid-19 consequences,” he says. The sickness lasts seven to fourteen days, and most patients who come to our facility recover and are discharged within that time frame. However, some patients acquire a condition known as post-Covid-syndrome,” he said during the cabinet’s weekly press briefing.

Dr. Noel, who is also the head of the Covid-19 Medical Response Team, told reporters that among the symptoms are chronic fatigue or feeling tiredness, persistent shortness of breath and coughing, no sense of smell or taste, as well as neurological symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

“It’s always best to protect ourselves and prevent getting it in the first place” he stated, as viral infections usually have a squealae
Dr. Noel said all those infected by COVID-19 can get a sequelae which can persist for weeks and or months after the initial recovery stage and that persons who believe they were infected should seek medical counselling.

“What I want to stress to you, is that there are some of you out there who may have had the mild disease because 80 per cent of the population who were affected by Covid-19 are going to have mild disease, a little body ache, a little headache a little fever and you may recover without medical attention but what about that other 20 percent who may have moderate and severe disease,” he said.

“Please take the necessary measures to avoid contracting the virus, we are still vulnerable. Even though the numbers are decreasing. More than 66 percent of the population have not taken the vaccine to give us that protection. If our vaccination rate remains low it is possible that we will have another outbreak of Covid-19.” Dr. Noel reiterated.

Grenada has recorded more than 5,000 positive cases as well as 182 deaths since mid-August after having recorded only one death since January from the virus. More than 300 patients have been hospitalized as a result of this wave of the virus.

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