By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
VACCINATIONS on Grand Bahama are in progress at the Susan J Wallace Centre and people who are immuno-compromised are encouraged to get vaccinated.
The centre is administering the extended dose and booster shot of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
The country has entered its fourth wave, with cases of the Omicron variant suspected to be in the country. Last week, the country recorded 970 COVID-19 cases, including one day with 330 cases, the highest total in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
Vaccinations are available Monday through Friday during the hours of 8am to noon and from 1pm to 3pm.
A hospital official said persons are coming in for the shot. The centre will close today for the holiday.
“For those that are highly at risk, persons that are immune-compromised we are encouraging them to get a booster,” advised Dr Freeman Lockhart during a Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Zoom meeting last month.
“We encourage boosters because there has been a significant drop off in the number of persons accessing the vaccine,” he said back in November.
He said that vaccines have expiry dates on them. “To avoid vaccines expiring, we find boosters will be offered to the general populace sooner rather than later.”
Dr Lockhart also urged people to continue to wear masks and observe public health guidelines.
According to an official announcement released by Grand Bahama Health Services on December 13, persons eligible to receive the extended dose are those with active cancer or who have ended treatment within the last 12 months.
Others eligible persons include: those who have had an organ transplant, chronic dialysis, HIV with a current CD4 count of less than 200 cells/ul or detectable viral load; persons who were on active treatment causing significant immunosuppression; or had immunosuppressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy within the past six months; received the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines 1-3 before requesting the extended dose.
Persons eligible to receive the booster dose must be 18 years and older, and six months have passed since the second Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine; or two months have passed since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Eligible persons for the extended dose or the booster shot are asked to make their appointment at vax.gov.bs. All vaccine recipients are asked to report to the vaccination centre 15 minutes before their appointment time and bring along their yellow COVID-19 vaccine card. Walk-ins are also welcomed.
People that have received their first round of vaccines are advised that they will be accommodated for the extended dose or booster shot during a scheduled time to be announced.