'I feel elated, really great to be fully vaccinated'Friday, June 04, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Senior citizens in this south-central town who would have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine two months ago are now eager to be fully vaccinated.
Jeff Smith is one of those who received his first dose on March 23 at Mandeville Comprehensive Clinic and at that time he encouraged others to get vaccinated.
“I wouldn't mind if we could go back to normal [life] tomorrow,” he told the Jamaica Observer in March.
On Monday this week, Smith returned to the clinic for his second dose of the vaccine and said he is looking forward to travelling overseas once more.
“I feel elated, really great to be fully vaccinated. I really want to tell everyone to come and get the vaccine. I am looking forward to travelling again. Everything I want to do now that I am fully vaccinated,” he said.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, had announced that fully vaccinated people over age 60 will be exempted from the stay-at-home order two weeks after being vaccinated.
“The age limit for the stay-at-home measure remains at 60 until June 30, 2021. However, persons who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from this. We, therefore, encourage all persons within the vulnerable age group to get vaccinated,” said Holness.
“If you are fully vaccinated, meaning that you have received the required dosage, if it is a two-dose vaccine and you get the two doses, two weeks after we consider you to be fully vaccinated, or if it is a one-dose vaccine, and you have got the dosage, two weeks after we consider you fully vaccinated. You are no longer under the elder shielding measure,” added Holness.
More than 155,600 Jamaicans have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 22,206 have received their second dose.
Meanwhile, Southern Regional Health Authority Director Michael Bent reinforced the message regarding the importance of the second dose.
“We are reminding persons who have received their first dose that they should bear in mind, when their second dose is due, they should go to the facilities indicated on their [vaccination] card. When they get their second dose it will be stamped 'fully vaccinated',” said Bent.
“We continue to do the vaccinations. The centres are open. We continue to register persons and we continue to vaccinate for the first dose, and we have also started the second dose. We don't want people to take just the first dose and don't come and take the second dose. It is very important that they are fully vaccinated,” he added.
An 82-year-old senior citizen, who asked not to be named and who received his second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday, said the jab gives him confidence.
“The first dose is the most important, it gives you confidence even though you still have to take precautions, but you aren't as afraid of it anymore like before,” he said.
He said although he has encouraged his children to take the vaccine, one of them remains hesitant.
“I tell my children to make sure they get at least the first dose, because they live abroad, but one of them doesn't want to take it. He is like those people who don't want to take it because they read too much on [social media],” he said.
Ezra and Carol Fider, an elderly couple, were among those waiting to receive their second dose at the clinic.
“There is a pandemic and we felt it is important for us to protect ourselves against it, therefore the vaccine,” said Ezra.
“We were vaccinated, when we were children, against various illnesses. This [COVID] was not in existence then, so here is a situation where you have something and the recommendation is that you take a vaccine,” said Carol.
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