Persons, 60 years and older, are being urged to get vaccinated, as this could significantly decrease the number of hospitalisations and deaths among that cohort, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said on Friday.
That age category is known to be more at risk of being hospitalised or succumbing to the virus.
“We have been able to get 77.5 percent of that population to get their first dose vaccines and for the second dose that population has had 63.5 percent. So, what we need to do is bring both of these numbers up, closer to about 85 percent, and if we are able to do that, we will start seeing the death rates, hospitalisation rates in this age category would drop significantly,” Dr. Anthony said.
For the 40-59 age group, 74.7 percent of that population took the first dose while 52.8 percent took the second dose, while for the 18-39 age group saw 69.9 percent taking the first dose while only 39.1 took the second dose.
“So here we start seeing the group of people who are not coming back for their second dose, so older people, generally have taken both doses, but with the younger population, most of them, they just did a first dose, but they didn’t take the second dose, and if you don’t get both doses then you won’t get the benefits of the vaccine,” Dr. Anthony noted.
Currently, approximately 139,000 persons are yet to take their second dose of a vaccine.
While vaccination numbers need to increase in the general population, the minister noted that some regions, like Regions 10 and Eight, have seen less vaccination uptake than others, and several factors contribute to this.