With only 15.4% of the population of Saint Lucia fully vaccinated against COVID-19, National Immunisation Manager, Tecla Jn Baptiste, has disclosed that the country is ‘still a long way from population immunity.’
As a result, Jn Baptiste says the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs continues to appeal to the people of Saint Lucia, especially the younger population, to get vaccinated.
In a statement on Tuesday, she said that the highest uptake of vaccines remains amongst the 50 years and older age group, although over the past month there has been a noted increase in the 24 to 49 years age group.
According to Jn Baptiste, since the introduction of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the number of young persons vaccinated has also increased, with the eligible target population for the COVID-19 vaccine now being 12 years and older.
She explained that data from the Respiratory Hospital indicate that all COVID-19 hospitalisations with severe disease and deaths thus far, continue to be among the unvaccinated.
“There are cases where vaccinated people have contracted COVID-19, but were either asymptomatic or exhibited very mild symptoms. To date, only 1.6% of the positive cases reported are fully vaccinated, leaving the other 98.4% unvaccinated. It must be noted that if one is fully vaccinated i.e. with both doses, plus two weeks, the risk of severe illness is very low,” the National Immunisation Manager noted.
Jn Baptiste warned that the Delta variant is dangerous and is known to spread quickly, causing a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
As a result, she urged members of the public to get vaccinated.