Health professionals in Seychelles line up to get COVID-19 vaccine
Health professionals in Seychelles lined up at different centres on Monday to take the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a campaign to target all health professionals on the island nation’s second day of the campaign programme.
Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon told SNA that all health professionals in the private and public health care systems would be offered the vaccine. “But it is based on their own volition to take the vaccine, but the aim is to try and cover all,” said Gedeon.
The vaccinations took place on the three most populated islands of Seychelles — Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue — on Monday. In the capital city of Victoria, at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS), a station was set up to administer the vaccine.
SNA spoke to several people who were at the centre for the Sinopharm vaccine, which was donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Elna Francoise, who has been in the nursing profession for more than five years, said that she felt fine after taking her dose.” I do not feel any side effect or dizziness as one might say. I do not know about later, but now the priority is to protect ourselves and the population,” said Francoise.
Daniel Mahoune, a student of the National Institute for Health & Social Studies (NIHSS), said that as a health professional he is leading by example and is protecting himself in the process. “I have come down to take my vaccine and I am encouraging others to do so. I have no fear of taking mine. It is for our betterment and to protect those we love around us against the virus. We should not forget that we are the forefront of the battle,” said Mahoune.
One thousand doses of the vaccines are expected to be administered daily in the coming months. After a window of 28 days, the second dose of the vaccine will be administered. Once vaccination of the health professionals is over, vaccines will be given to essential workers including the police, firefighters and those working in essential services such as with the utility company.
The vaccination roll-out in Seychelles started on Sunday where the island nation’s political leaders took the jabs. During the ceremony, President Wavel Ramkalawan announced that the UAE will be during the coming days be donating a further 20,000 vaccines on top of the 50,000 already given, albeit of a different brand. This batch of vaccines will be used for Seychellois over age 60 as they are not included in the Sinopharm campaign.
India is also pitching in to help the Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – with a donation of 50,000 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines which will arrive in the country towards the end of January.
According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Health, 583 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the country amongst which 265 are active cases. 189 are Seychellois and 86 are foreigners.