As from 15 January 2022 the status of ‘fully vaccinated’ against the COVID-19 will be redefined and applied following the administration of the booster dose. The existing regulation has been amended to this effect.
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, made the announcement this afternoon, during a press conference, held at the seat of his Ministry, in Port-Louis. He gave an overview of the COVID-19 situation in the country and spoke about the importance of the COVID-19 booster dose, and vigilance to be exerted during the festive season.
According to him, the booster dose is important as protection offered by vaccines diminishes over time. In Mauritius, the vaccines of AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, Pfizer, Sputnik and Sinopharm have been provided in two doses, he recalled
For individuals to keep their vaccinated status it is important for them to get inoculated with the booster dose and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, on a daily basis, issues communiques to inform the public where the booster dose is being offered in the vaccination centres, said Dr Jagutpal.
As regards the amended Regulation, he emphasised that it stipulates that if a person has been tested positive to the COVID-19 by a laboratory recognised by the Ministry, that person will be considered as fully vaccinated but only for a four-month period as from the date he has been tested positive.
According to him, this means that if a person has received two doses of vaccine and was supposed to take the booster dose but in the meantime was tested positive, he will not be able to take the booster dose as from the date he has been tested positive. Therefore, over a four-month period he will be considered as fully vaccinated, he said. However, after this four-month period, he will be required to take the booster dose to be considered as fully vaccinated, he underscored.
After their second dose of vaccine, members of the public will have up to six months to take the booster dose, which will give them the ‘fully vaccinated’ status.
The Minister pointed out that the Regulation further indicates that the ‘vaccinated with one dose’ has been replaced with ‘fully vaccinated’ in certain cases and now citizens will have to be ‘fully vaccinated’ to access some sites/places.
Mauritius, said Dr Jagutpal, also provided the Johnson&Johnson vaccine in one dose and those who received it were considered as fully vaccinated. According to latest figures provided by the WHO, the immunity of individuals who have received this vaccine also reduces and it is crucial for them to get inoculated with a second dose of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine to be considered as fully vaccinated, he underscored. He thus indicated that a report of the vaccination committee to guide the authorities on that issue is expected in the days to come.
He further reassured that the authorities are monitoring the evolution of the variant Omicron.
Latest COVID-19 figures
As regards COVID-19 figures, Dr Jagutpal indicated that from 16 to 21 December the number of positive cases in the treatment centres stood at 224. The country has recorded 102 imported cases.
At the ENT Hospital, there are 14 patients admitted out of which five are on ventilators and five on oxygen and the remaining four are under observation. There are 156 patients admitted in the different wards of hospitals, he pointed out.
The Minister moreover said that a decrease in the number of patients admitted for treatment has been noted as well as across COVID testing centres and the same declining rate has been observed at the ENT Hospital.
From 16 to 21 December, he indicated, there has been unfortunately 32 deaths out of which four were aged less than 60 years and 28 aged more than 60 years. Thirty-one had comorbidities and one had no comorbidity. As regards the total number of deaths since 05 March till now, the figure stands at 756.
Speaking about sequencing, the Minister pointed out that last week the authorities received results of 100 samples of positive cases. Eighty-six concerned the local community while 14 pertained to imported cases. Ninety out of the 100 concerned the Delta variant, 78 were local cases, and 12 were related to passengers and 10 cases were related to the Omicron variant (out of which eight were local cases and two attributed to passengers).
The Minister emphasised the need for citizens to take the booster dose and cautioned that during the festive season, all sanitary precautions should be adhered to. We should not forget that an increase in the contamination rate has been recorded in November, he remarked, thus the importance to exert vigilance.
The vaccination has progressed with 942 722 persons having received their first dose representing 74,5%; 909 170 persons have been inoculated with the second dose (71,8%); 174 854 persons have received the booster dose; those aged less than 18 years having received the first dose of Pfizer and the figure stands at 40 931 students while 31 768 students have received their second dose.
As regards Rodrigues, the figure for the first dose has surpassed 65% (28 442) and second dose has exceeded 60% (26 178) and 1 357 persons have received their booster dose.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.
© Press Release 2021
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