“I think it is so important that I take my vaccine. I know what the consequences are of an infection from the coronavirus and as a result of that I think I need to protect myself, my family and of course the citizens of Montserrat, with whom I come in contact with,” Premier of Montserrat Joseph Farrell said shortly after taking the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
The premier and Governor Andrew Pearce took the jab for the vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca on the first day of the Vaccination Programme being run by the Ministry of Health.
A total of 65 people were expected to take the vaccine on Monday, with 474 registered to date. Health officials are calling for more residents to take the vaccine, which has become even more urgent now that there are again active cases of the COVID-19 on island.
Montserrat has enough vaccine to allow 1500 people to receive both doses, which must be taken four weeks apart.
Others who took the shot on Monday include Mrs. Pornpun Pearce, Director of the Montserrat Red Cross Glenn Francis and former Premier Reuben T. Meade.
Governor Pearce described the vaccination process as a very smooth one, adding that “the decision to take the vaccine or not is an entirely personal one, as it is not mandatory but when we look at the science of our battle against this virus, it is clear that these vaccines are very powerful and effective.”
Residents over the age of 18 are encouraged to register at their local health centre at the numbers below.
St. John’s – 491-5218
Cudjoe Head – 491-5258
St. Peter’s – 491-5436
Salem – 491-5256
Common side effects from the vaccine are as follows:
Very Common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
generally feeling unwell
feeling tired (fatigue)
chills or feeling feverish
feeling sick (nausea)
joint pain or muscle ache
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
a lump at the injection site
flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills.