Seychelles' Ministry of Health seeks volunteers for roll-out of second dose of COVID vaccine
With the additional resources, the authority hopes to strengthen and open more vaccination centres, allowing the country to achieve its target of herd immunity by mid-March. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' Ministry of Health is seeking volunteers to assist with the national vaccination programme and ensure more efficiency as the country rolls out its campaign to administer second doses.
With the additional resources, the authority hopes to strengthen and open more vaccination centres, allowing the country to achieve its target of herd immunity by mid-March.
The chairperson of the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Committee, Kathleen Cecile, told a press conference on Tuesday that the Ministry of Health has made an official request to the Department of Public Administration (DPA) for additional people.
"We are considering if we can open additional centres firstly and secondly if we can reinforce the number of people working in the centres for us to increase our uptake and give more vaccines per day. We made a request to DPA to get the assistance of workers from government departments whose workload is low at the moment, or those working from home and do not have much to do," explained Cecile.
Cecile added that the more hands are needed to help out with file management and the daily update of the database, where currently there is a backlog.
"We have realized that we need more people to do the data entry in centres so that every day there is data update, so that we can have additional information, for instance how many people in each district have taken their jabs," said Cecile.
Currently, 35,079 people in Seychelles have received first doses of the Sinopharm and the Oxford – AstraZeneca (or Covisheild) vaccines. This is 50 percent of the 70,000 people that are expected to be vaccinated in the country.
The manager for the extended programme for immunisation, Florida Bijoux said the administering of the second dose of the vaccine should run quicker as the process will include only screening and vaccination and no pre-vaccination talk as was the case with the first dose.
The rollout for the second dose will start by the end of the week. Persons taking their final dose will then be issued with a certificate to be used nationally. Cecile informed journalists that the ministry will then look at ways of issuing internationally accepted certificates.
A comprehensive plan is also being developed to immunise people who are bedridden and cannot leave their homes. Cecile said that once the database is complete the health authority will find out the percentage of people who refused vaccinations and also find out what their reasons are.
Bijoux said however that they are happy to see so many people coming forward to get their jabs. "This is something good we are seeing with COVID, they are coming to us rather than us going to them. This is a big achievement because we see there is the awareness," added Bijoux.
Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – is currently administering 50,000 doses of Sinopharm – a donation from the United Arabs Emirates, and 50,000 doses of Covishield, a donation from the Indian government.
The health professionals also confirmed that another consignment of Sinopharm is due in the country at any moment.