COVID-19 update and press conference- February 7, 2021. (PMO)

Public health nurses in the polyclinics are ready to undertake the largest mass vaccination programme in the island’s history to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Public Health Nurse and Senior Health Sister at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Rosanette Cooke, declared the nurses’ readiness to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to the public during a COVID-19 press conference at Ilaro Court.

She disclosed 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 our supplies; we have our oxygen; and even to go out into the field, when we’re doing the vaccine.  We have all of our supplies ready, just waiting for the start date.”

Senior Health Sister Cooke said undertaking this campaign was a continuation of their duties to administer vaccinations to the public – a role which they have successfully done for years in the polyclinics and communities across the island.

In the event that persons who are not registered in a polyclinic catchment area turn up to be vaccinated, the Senior Health Sister explained how this would be handled.

“So, we use an electronic system, referred to as Med Data. That Med Data System was set up for the Electoral and Boundaries Commission, so one of the things that happened within that system we have the names of every person registered at the Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”

Public health nurses in the polyclinics are ready to undertake the largest mass vaccination programme in the island’s history to fight the spread of COVID-19. (Stock Photo)

The Public Health Nurse continued: “So, as long as you can give us your ID number, we can actually pull you up in the system even though even though you may not have been a patient at the clinic. I can still actually find your name, and the way the system operates is that even if you are seen at Randall Phillips and you are going to Maurice Byer, we can still see you and follow you through with the system…. We can register you and you can still have access to your vaccine.”

She said persons could expect to experience, pain, soreness and redness at the injection site, and when this occurs, the health care official advised not to rub, squeeze or put anything on the area.

In the event a person has a fever, Senior Health Sister Cooke told persons to take two Panadol tablets every four to six hours. If the fever persists longer than two days, they should return to the clinic where the vaccine was administered.

Meanwhile, Co-cordinator of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, cautioned that after the vaccine is administered, persons would be sent to the recovery area for 15 minutes to be monitored before being discharged.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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