Health ministry confident in Johnson and Johnson vaccine

October 07, 2021
Registered midwife Onalee O’Gilvie administers a COVID-19 vaccine.
Registered midwife Onalee O’Gilvie administers a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jamaicans who are scared of needles or reluctant to go through the process of taking two COVID vaccine jabs are better suited to try the equally efficient Johnson and Johnson vaccine according to Dr Melody Ennis.

"At this point, persons do have a choice. They can opt to take the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson. But if we look at our culture a little bit, we know that persons are seriously afraid of needles. The one jab offers that opportunity to only have to man up one time, to try and let the cold sweat pass and make that move. The Johnson and Johnson is just as equally, as I have said, effective, and it offers persons just one stick. So for those fearful of the needle, those who don't have the time, those who don't want to come out more than once and the shut-ins, it is really the vaccine for those persons," she said.

In an interview with THE STAR, Ennis, the director of family health services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), also said that the vaccines are still the safest protection against the novel coronavirus. She insisted that, despite unhealthy conclusions drawn by some persons about the efficacy of the jabs, the vaccines are designed to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and/or death associated with COVID-19.

According to the MOHW, of the nearly 800,000 persons who have been inoculated, less than one per cent have reported to have experienced adverse reactions.

"We have received to date 497 such reports, which actually is 0.06 per cent of all the persons that have been inoculated. Now, of that 497 cases we have received, 89 would have been considered serious. When we look at that percentage it is actually 0.011 per cent of individuals that have had one of those or more of those side effects to the vaccine," she said.

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