People with chronic illnesses and those over 65 urged to get flu vaccine

People with chronic illnesses and those over 65 urged to get flu vaccine

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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WESTMORELAND, Jamaica— Medical Officer of Health for Westmoreland, Dr Marcia Graham, is encouraging citizens with chronic illnesses and people over 65 to get the flu vaccine in order to help protect themselves from contracting the virus.

“We are now going into the flu season and the good news is that the flu vaccine is here and available. You just need to speak to your health care provider at your nearest health centre to organise which day you can come to access this,” she said.

“We are asking persons, especially those who have chronic diseases, whether it's asthma, sickle cell, HIV, diabetes, hypertension, to make sure you access this. We also ask persons over 65, because you are more vulnerable by reason of your age, to access the flu vaccine so you can keep yourself safe,” she further implored.

Graham was addressing the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation at the entity's location in Savanna-la-Mar recently.

She said that senior citizens and persons with chronic conditions are also at risk of more severe illnesses from COVID-19, and they should adhere to the health and safety measures.

“This includes your hand hygiene, your cough etiquette, your social distance, your consistent and correct wearing of masks,” she noted.

She further advises people to practise speaking without taking off their masks, especially when they are in a crowded area as “that is not the time to take a mask break”.

Graham is encouraging Jamaicans to continue their vigilance against COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is real…there are more than 1.2 million deaths worldwide. This is a real and present threat,” she noted.

“There is now a second wave and countries that had lessened their restrictions are now tightening them because they do not want to overwhelm their health services. They do not want to run out of hospital beds and ventilators,” she said.

Graham noted that locally, the Government is committed to balancing lives and livelihoods in the fight against the virus, but citizens also have a key role to play.

“Despite all that we do, we need the partnership of people in order for us to decrease the number of new infections and decrease the number of hospitalisations [and] the number of deaths,” Dr Graham said.

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