As the health authorities in St Ann continue to ramp up their COVID-19 vaccination drive, Medical Officer of Health for the parish, Dr Tamika Henry, has indicated that efforts are being made to get more mentally challenged persons, including street people, inoculated.
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Henry said the medical team in the parish is awaiting the necessary approval from mental health officials.
“As you are aware, there are some of them (mentally challenged persons) who are very conversant and they are very aware of what is coming around them,” she said.
“The mental health team has been tasked with engaging these individuals to see how best we can get permission to do vaccinations for them,” the medical officer continued.
“As it relates to the others who are really not able to give us permission, there is a dialogue that is ongoing at the national level to see how best we can vaccinate them, but there is something that needs to be done in that regard first, and we are just waiting for the go-ahead,” she added.
The choice of vaccine to be given to those individuals for whom permission is obtained is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, due in large part to the convenience of being a single-dose drug.
“We were able to have them get physical examinations and checks. We were able to get permission for those who were able to…, and we did administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to these individuals,” Henry disclosed.
“Of course, you know that the other vaccines are two doses, and so it can be a challenge to get persons in to get double doses, so we did administer that (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine to them.
“… And we do wait for collaboration from the national level in terms of the persons who are currently on the streets and the persons who are of unsound mind,” she indicated.