Vaccination Programme Update – Frequently Asked Questions

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The remaining members of the community who are eligible to receive the AstraZeneca Vaccination have now been asked to come forward. Vaccinations for all persons in Groups 4 and 5 (ages 18+) will begin on Monday, 8 March.

Information sessions have been organised at the Jamestown Community Centre as follows:

DateTime
Thursday, 4 March11:00 – 12:30
Friday, 5 March13:00 – 14:30
Saturday, 6 March10:30 – 12:00

Once you have made your decision to become vaccinated you are then able to book your vaccination appointment by contacting Mrs Peta Henry via tel. 22998 or email peta.henry@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG has collated a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions around the vaccine.  This can be found via the SHG website: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccinations/.

Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions thus far:

Q. I have an underlying medical condition. Is it OK for me to have the vaccine?

A. The vaccine does not contain living organisms and is therefore safe for most individuals, even those with underlying conditions (including diabetes and hypertension which are amongst two of the most common conditions on St Helena).

Q. Can women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have the vaccine?

A. Pregnant and breastfeeding women were at first not eligible for the vaccine, however the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the UK’s Chief Medical Officers have reviewed the evidence and have said that the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks of pregnant women contracting COVID-19; especially in cases where the risk of exposure to the virus is high and cannot be avoided, or where the woman has underlying conditions that place her at very high risk of serious complications if she contracted COVID-19. 

For women trying to become pregnant, the vaccine doesn’t mean they should delay their plans. It is also safe to have the vaccine if you are breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, it is still possible to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but this will need to discussed on a case by case basis. Please consult Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Dr Francisco Milian, at the General Hospital on tel. 22500.

Q. What happens if I get side-effects and have to take sick leave?

A. In this instance you are advised to discuss with your Line Manager/Employer before receiving your vaccination. For SHG employees, the SHG sick leave policy will apply.

Q. Can children have the vaccine?

A. It is not currently planned to be given to under 18’s, as the vaccines haven’t been tested in this age group. Only children at very high risk of catching the virus and of becoming seriously ill from it, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities in residential care, will be offered vaccination.

All eligible members of the community are encouraged to get vaccinated, in order to protect yourself and the community.

SHG
3 March 2021

St Helena Government Press Office

Telephone: 22470
Email: liam.yon@sainthelena.gov.sh