Take the vaccine even if you had COVID!Wednesday, April 14, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
A senior health official reiterated yesterday that people who contracted the novel coronavirus should still get inoculated, as the vaccine helps to boost the body's immunity.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, director of Family Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dr Melody Ennis, rubbished the myth that for people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, taking the vaccine would not be necessary.
“That is indeed not so, we have noticed that persons would have had the disease, got better and would get it again. That is because their immunity was not sustained and therefore the recommendation is for them to take the vaccine,” she explained.
“As we wait for natural immunity around the world or even in Jamaica, billions of persons are dying. Vaccine helps to build immunity without a damaging effect that COVID-19 can have,” she added.
Dr Ennis pointed out that individuals who have recovered and are no longer experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 can take the vaccine. She also said those who tested positive for the virus and are asymptomatic can take the vaccine after completing the 14-day quarantine period.
For people who are concerned about contracting novel coronavirus from the vaccine, Dr Ennis assured that, “If it [the virus] is not in it, then you can't get it. That kind of myth is a bit redundant.”
More than 100,000 Jamaicans have now received the first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Dr Ennis has encouraged people with co-morbid conditions that include obesity, hypertension, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and respiratory illnesses, to take the jab.
“When those with underlying illnesses get COVID-19 they get much worse and eventually have to stay in hospitals for a very long time and [sometimes] they die. If you do have those co-morbidities, you should take the vaccine,” she said.
Noting that the AstraZeneca vaccine is 79 per cent effective at stopping symptomatic diseases, Dr Ennis said: “So, [although] 79 per cent of persons who contract the virus will not show any symptoms, 100 per cent effectivity against falling ill is better.”
“If you are fully immunised with the AstraZeneca vaccine, even if the virus comes inside of you, you will not fall ill, you will not be hospitalised, and you won't die. That is a 'biggie' because our hospitals are bursting at the seams, so this is very comforting with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Dr Ennis, adding that full immunisation occurs about 10-14 days after receiving the second dose.