CMO warns against complacency after first COVID jabWednesday, April 14, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie is warning people who have received the first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine not to become complacent in observing the COVID-19 infection, prevention and control measures.
Speaking during a digital press conference today, Dr Bisasor-McKenzie said, “You need to continue to do the same thing that we have been speaking about all of this time — you have to wear your mask; you have to practise physical distancing; you have to hand sanitise; you have to sanitise frequently used areas; you have to stay at home if you are sick; and all the other things that we have said in terms of infection prevention and control.”
The CMO reminded that even with the vaccine, people can still get and transmit the virus.
“If you have been exposed to COVID before or after you have had your second dose, some persons will still get COVID,” she said.
“We are still in the community transmission phase and so many persons around you may have COVID. If you are infected in the first days after the vaccine, you will have no protection from the vaccine and therefore you may develop a severe illness.
“After about two or three weeks with the vaccine on board — and remember it is not going to prevent everyone from getting COVID — but if your body has started now to develop some immunity, it will be a mild illness but it is still possible to transmit COVID to others who may not be vaccinated and they may get a severe illness,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie continued.
She also reminded the public that there is a considerable decrease in the protection that is afforded if individuals do not get the second dose of the vaccine.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton added that the ministry will begin scheduling second doses in May.
“After we have all gotten fully vaccinated, two doses on board, a good percentage of the population, 60 per cent of the population vaccinated, then we can get back to life,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie said.
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