Nurse Yamisleydi Gomez gives Teneisha Wilson a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Costatt, El Dorado campus on October 29 as district health visitor Helena Peters looks on. File photo/Angelo Marcelle –
From next week, additional primary doses of covid19 vaccines will be available to certain categories of the public.
At the Ministry of Health’s virtual media conference on Saturday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the doses were broken up into categories to ensure delivery to the vulnerable.
He said the additional primary shots will be available for people who were fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, in keeping with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Deyalsingh explained that the additional doses were not to be confused with booster shots. He said certain categories of people were targeted and gave a further break down for those who got the Sinopharm vaccine as compared to the other vaccines.
“The Sinopharm additional primary vaccine will be available to two categories of people — people 60 years and over who have already received the full complement of the Sinopharm vaccine regardless of disease state, so a 60-year-old healthy person with no comorbidities or immunocompromised, under these guidelines is eligible for the third dose.
“The second interim recommendation for Sinopharm is regardless of age, if you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, you can also access you third primary shot, as per WHO protocol,” Deyalsingh said.
He added that immunocompromised people included active cancer patients, transplant recipients, people who were immunodeficient, HIV patients and people who were immunosuppressive.
Additional primary vaccines for people over the age of 60 and people within the immunodeficient category also applied to those fully vaccinated with Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer – 12 years and older – and Johnson and Johnson.
Deyalsingh said the additional primary doses should correspond with the covid19 vaccine taken and not switched with any other brand.
Further, he said immunocompromised people who were not patients in the public health sector, would be required to produce a referral letter from the attending physician.
Deyalsingh said, “Most of the patients are going to be in the public healthcare system. If you are a private patient in any of these conditions, you will be required to bring in a referral letter from your attending physician to determine your suitability to receive the extra primary dose.
“Certain groups will be given the additional primary doses at specific sites so they do not have to bring in a letter because we know them, for example, kidney transplant recipients, dialysis patients, in the public health system. Patients in the public health system, you do not have to seek out the vaccines, it will be brought to you.”
He added that patients will be called with an appointment date so there was no need to form long lines in front vaccination sites and health facilities.