Kailesh Jagutpal, Mauritius Minister of Health and Wellness, has announced that a new batch of 100,000 vaccines was expected to arrive in Mauritius on February 20, 2021. Le Mauricien reported that so far 4,422 people have been vaccinated from the 100,000 vaccines already available in Mauritius.
Minister Jagutpal was speaking to members of the press alongside Dr Catherine Gaud, immunologist and senior advisor at the Health Ministry, at a briefing in Port Louis on February 19, 2021.
Those 4,422 Astra Zeneca Covishield vaccines donated by India have been administered to selected staff in the health, hotels and ports sectors. Le Mauricien reports that from Monday February 22, the vaccine will be open to all public, private and NGO frontliners, the police, the National Coast Guard, Air Mauritius, the ports sector and the tourism industry. Those eligible can be vaccinated at the five regional hospitals between 9am and 3pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am until noon on Saturday.
Dr Gaud explained that the second dose of the vaccine will be administered after 12 weeks instead of the initially anticipated four weeks. This is because the effectiveness of the vaccine is 82% after 12 weeks compared to 55% after 28 days. “Mauritians are very lucky to have the vaccine, (which is) a preventive method. We get vaccinated today, so that we do not get sick tomorrow. It is also an opportunity to prevent the spread of the disease,” she said.
She was confident that, despite the quick development of these vaccines, they were safe. People are urged to take them to protect themselves and to help the country obtain collective (herd) immunity. That means 60% of the population must be vaccinated.
In the meantime, it is essential to practice social distancing to help keep the population healthy.
* Mauritius has had 603 cases, of which 215 were local and 388 imported. Currently, there are 30 active cases, and all sufferers are stable.
* 10 mobile vaccine units are available to be dispatched to different regions to vaccinate large groups of eligible people without them having to go to hospital.