Health officials in Seychelles asking 50,000 residents to get 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose
Gedeon said that vaccination is an essential tool in preventing severe disease and death in instances. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Health authorities are calling on about 50,000 eligible people in Seychelles who have taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccines to get a third booster dose.
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, said Thursday that Seychelles expects another consignment of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine this week.
Louange told a press conference that so far only 20,000 people - out of the targeted population of 70,000 - have taken their third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We have a lot more, almost 50,000 people, who need the third dose. It will be good if we can use all the doses that we are about to receive for these people," said Louange.
On his side, the Public Health Commissioner, Jude Gedeon, outlined that people who haven't taken any dose of the vaccine remain a top priority.
"We will be receiving new stock of Pfizer before this week ends and we will be announcing how the vaccination will be rolled out to priority groups, especially those who have not been vaccinated, and those who have not received their third dose," said Gedeon.
He said that vaccination is an essential tool in preventing severe disease and death in instances.
"As evident by the rate of death amount people who are unvaccinated, they form the majority, over 100 out of 131 cases. Those who had been vaccinated unfortunately had other fairly severe underlying medical conditions, so vaccination does save lives," said Gedeon.
The Ministry of Health is already discussing the administration of a fourth dose of vaccine. The latest figures given on Thursday show that there are currently 342 active cases in Seychelles, with a current rolling average of 30 cases per week.
On the issue of the Omicron variant that is spreading fast across the world, Gedeon said that evidence shows that the variant "multiplies so fast in the upper airway - 70 times faster - but it multiplies slower in the lungs, and as such, it seems to be causing less severe disease in the lungs."
No changes have been made to the health restriction measures in place but Gedeon is urging the public to continue practicing preventative measures, especially now that festive season is fast approaching. The latest updates to measures were made in late November.
"We know that there will be a lot of movement during the festive season. We are not encouraging people to mix between households as this will encourage the virus to spread. We have seen what has happened in many countries that have let go of their basic preventive measures, so hands, face, and space are three keywords that we should be repeating to everyone around us. These are the key preventative measure, aside from taking the vaccine that will prevent and break the transmission," said Gedeon.