MAURITIUS – It is strongly recommended that those who have received their two doses of COVID-19 vaccine be inoculated with the booster/additional dose so as to ensure maximum efficacy of the vaccine.

To date, only 17,315 persons have already received the third jab.

The President of the National Vaccination Committee, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, made this statement at a press conference on COVID-19, in Port Louis. The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, was also present.

Dr Joomaye highlighted that immunity offered by the vaccine is not permanent and gradually decreases after four to five months.

There is therefore a need to be inoculated with the booster/additional dose to mitigate the spread of the virus in the local community, he pointed out. For instance, a third dose of the Sinopharm vaccine can enhance protection against COVID-19 up to 90%.

Dr Joomaye highlighted that immunity offered by the vaccine is not permanent and gradually decreases after four to five months

As at date, 879,655 persons, representing 72% of the total population and 90% of the adult population, have been vaccinated. Furthermore, 29,740 adolescents aged 15 to 17 years old have been inoculated.

In addition, Dr Joomaye cautioned against old habits such as shaking hands, which have recently been observed in public places. These, he said, are not in line with the sanitary precautions and protocols in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the local community.

He also deplored that, on numerous occasions, persons with positive rapid antigen tests are not notifying the concerned authorities, while others are not observing the prescribed period of self-isolation when they are tested positive to COVID-19.

Moreover, he reiterated that all precautions must still be thoroughly observed as being vaccinated does not automatically mean that one will not be infected by the Coronavirus.

He moreover informed that 80% of those deceased due to COVID-19 were not vaccinated, and that the reopening of borders did not have any serious impact on the number of positive cases in the local community.

For his part, Dr Jagutpal underlined that sanitary and precautionary measures must at all times be observed, especially with the upcoming public holidays and festive season when people will go to places such as restaurants, food courts and shopping malls.

He appealed to the public, especially to parents, to ensure that their children and themselves observe all necessary precautions so as to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are more vulnerable.

Mauritius approved of Sinovac booster doses in September, becoming the second African nation to offer booster doses, after Seychelles.

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