Health minister urges vaccinated persons to comply with COVID-19 safeguardsSaturday, July 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is urging persons who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19) to maintain strict adherence to the stipulated protocols and safeguards.
He says while inoculation will help in reducing the possibility of serious illness, it does not guarantee that individuals won't contract the disease.
“There are [approximately] 300,000 Jamaicans who have had at least one [COVID-19 vaccine] dose. [But] the fact that you are [among that group] does not mean that you are totally protected from the virus,” he said while addressing a virtual COVID Conversations press briefing on Thursday.
Tufton noted that within recent weeks, there have been reported cases of emerging clusters of vaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19.
“You can still get the virus and, indeed, the data coming out of some jurisdictions… is that [some] vaccinated persons… have contracted the virus and died. The vaccine is not a 100 per cent fool proof method of avoiding the virus in the first instance and, certainly, avoiding severe illness; [so] there is still that possibility,” he cautioned.
The minister said it was, therefore, important for persons to maintain the COVID-19 safety protocols, whether or not they are vaccinated.
“If you are [vaccinated] and you become complacent, let down your guard and then you [contract] the virus and spread it to those who are not yet able to access a vaccine, you are doing a disservice to your fellow Jamaicans who are not yet vaccinated,” he said.
Tufton further referenced data which he said suggests that COVID-19 is now shifting to becoming a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” because it is, overwhelmingly, those who have not been inoculated who are ending up in the hospitals, based on current trends in surges globally.
He said vaccinated persons not complying with the safeguards can potentially contribute to that scenario, “by virtue of the fact that they can pick the virus up, not be as ill and spread it to those who are not vaccinated.”
Jamaicans are being reminded to adhere to the COVID-19 measures implemented by the Government to prevent infection and control the spread of the disease.
These include wearing a mask while in public, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other persons, and frequently washing or sanitising hands.
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