According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has embarked on a series of campaigns “to make sure that individuals who work on the premises of healthcare institutions were vaccinated”. (Stock Photo)

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is working to ensure that frontline workers in the public health care sector are vaccinated against COVID-19.

 Speaking at the town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing at the Combermere School last evening, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, suggested that while most of the nursing complement had been inoculated, authorities still had some way to go.

He said the Ministry had embarked on a series of campaigns “to make sure that individuals who work on the premises of healthcare institutions were vaccinated”, but pointed out that they had received a mixed response.

“Why? Because their clientele [tend] to be older, [and] either have mental illness, [or] either have NCDs.  The truth of the matter is that the response has been mixed.  We have had success in public health, where up to 78 per cent of our nursing staff have been vaccinated.  In the Psychiatric Hospital, it’s about 68 per cent of the nursing staff,” Dr. George disclosed.

“That is just good policy.  It doesn’t make any sense that you are in in a sick bed and the person who is taking care of you is not vaccinated.  Ideally that should not be the case.  We don’t want an individual who is in hospital to end up with something they didn’t go into hospital with in the first place.  We have this mantra in medicine ‘do no harm’, and the issue with respect to vaccines is an added layer to protect vulnerable persons in vulnerable situations,” he explained.            

It was against this background that Dr. George said the Ministry would continue to educate persons employed within the health care sector about the importance of this exercise.

nya.phillips@barbados.gov.bb

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