As various international reports question the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph says there have been no adverse effects reported here by persons who have already received the drug.
In a number of countries, people are linking the vaccine to blood clots, with a recent report claiming that five United Kingdom citizens suffered this complication after receiving the vaccine.
But Joseph is hailing the local inoculation campaign a success, and says he is thankful there have been no negative reactions among those vaccinated.
In fact, the Ministry of Health’s goal is to vaccinate 27,000 people by the end of this week, as the inoculation of frontline workers continues.
While a number of residents have reported the usual side effects of any vaccination – including fever, body aches and headaches – nothing serious or life-threatening has been recorded.
Officials say that, after vaccination, persons must continue to follow COVID-19 protocols; control chronic illnesses; stay hydrated; exercise regularly; eat a balanced diet; and get adequate rest.
However, the Ministry of Health has established a hotline for those who may develop symptoms they may have concerns about. That number is 462-6843.
“If you had any adverse reaction following your COVID-19 vaccine, call the COVID-19 hotline … 462-6843, weekdays only, to report your reaction and to seek guidance,” a release from the Ministry says.
A senior is already asking, “And who do we call on the weekend?” – noting that such information needs to be provided, as well.
Meanwhile, in order to provide easy access, the Ministry is utilizing the Multipurpose Centre to distribute outstanding vaccination cards. These can be collected from Thursday, March 18, until Friday, March 26, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Residents who were vaccinated at the Villa Polyclinic, Sir Novelle Richards Academy, and the Multipurpose Centre can collect their cards at that location. They are reminded that identification must be presented in order to do so.
In the meantime, online registration for the COVID-19 vaccine continues and can be done at www.vaccineantiguabarbuda.com.
“Pre-registration is vital for efficiency in the next phase of the vaccination process,” the Ministry of Health says.