And if you haven't been vaccinated yet, you might want to get on that as fast possible. That's because some vaccines are starting to expire. The Ministry of Health advised this morning that as of February 1st, there will be no AstraZeneca vaccines available. It's a major loss since there were more than enough to vaccinate everyone who is eligible, and plus give boosters. But with vax numbers crawling at a snail's pace - and not yet at the 50% mark - these vaccines will expire. The technical advisor at the maternal and child health unit at MOH, Dr Natalia Beer, lamented on this.
"With so many in the world still waiting for their first vaccine, it is a travesty and a shame that a poor country like is will have to throw away vaccines. Is this a lamentable fact for you?"
Dr. Natalia Beer, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Health and Wellness
"Thats an excellent question and yes, especially as it relates to covid19 and let me explain: in the world of immunizations, there is a wastage factor to all vaccines, depending on the vaccine and also in how one establishes the wastage. When it comes to the covid19 vaccines and I must applaud the healthcare workers that the team at the vaccination sites, they go the extra mile ensuring that we use the last dose that is available in a vile of covid19 vaccine. And here we have teams that in by 5pm they open a vile and only 1,2,3 persons are there in line, then they would wait and look for persons to come in, not to waste any dose of covid19 vaccine, because we understand the issue of the pandemic and the issue of countries not having access."
The ministry is advising that following persons visit the nearest COVID-19 vaccination site to be vaccinated:
Persons needing a first dose. Persons who received a first dose of AstraZeneca eight weeks or more ago. Persons requiring a booster dose - three months after second dose.