Some 100,000 persons are to be administered with the COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, as from tomorrow, in the National Vaccination campaign against COVID-19. They will receive its second dose will be given 28 days apart.
This announcement was made this afternoon by the President of the National Covid Vaccination Committee, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, during the daily press briefing of the National Communication Committee on COVID-19 at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis. The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal was also present.
Dr Zouberr Joomaye underlined that the COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN has received the approval of the National Covid Vaccination Committee.
He explained that the COVAXIN is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology. Following reports submitted by the Indian laboratory, the Pharmacy board of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has given its approval for its utilisation in Mauritius, he stated.
Furthermore, he added that COVAXIN demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 81 % in the Phase 3 clinical trials and was approved for emergency use in India in January 2021. Indian Prime Minister, Mr. N. Modi, and other dignitaries along with 9 million Indian frontliners have been vaccinated with COVAXIN doses, he pointed out.
On that score, Dr Zouberr Joomaye reassured that the vaccine COVAXIN is deemed safe and efficient against the novel coronavirus and its variants, namely the Brazil, South Africa and UK variants.
Moreover, he pointed out that the vaccine is in high demand, with some 40 countries showing interest. But India, he said, has reserved COVAXIN doses for its own population, and agreed to provide some to few friendly countries, including Mauritius.
He further informed that the World Health Organisation has not yet given its approval to COVAXIN, as other newly developed COVID-19 vaccines. He also indicated that COVAXIN will affect different people in different ways, mostly with mild side effects including fever, rashes and nausea, and allergic reactions.
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Pregnant women, those aged under 18, those suffering from chronic diseases, allergies and those who have suffered from any illnesses for the last 15 days cannot be vaccinated, as a precautionary measure. Any person who is going to get vaccinated is advised to inform the medical personnel if he is under medical treatment.
Local positive cases reach 198
As for Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, he underlined that over the 368 COVID-19 tests carried out this morning, 9 positive cases have been detected. So far, 161 positive cases have been detected through Contact Tracing exercise and in COVID-19 testing centers, 28 in quarantine centres and 9 in random tests, he said.
The Health Minister also said that some 800 random tests have been carried out in areas where positive cases have been detected including, Canot, Petite Rivière, Brisée-Verdière . 250 random tests have been carried out today, in Albion, amongst others.
In addition, the Minister emphasised that strict sanitary precautions and social distancing are key to stop the propagation of the novel coronavirus.
He urged those who have been admitted in quarantine centres to abide by the conditions and regulations there, to protect their own health and that of others. He warned that those not respecting to these conditions will have their quarantine stay extended.