The vaccination campaign was officially launched in Mauritius on the 26th of January 2021, four days after the receipt of vaccines from India. It took place at the Victoria Candos hospital whereby many frontliners, especially doctors, got their first covid-19 vaccines. The Health Minister, Kailash Jagutpal was accompanied by the high commissioner, Kottapally Nandini Singla who witnessed the process of the first vaccination. It was Dr. Geelani, who received the first dose of the vaccine. The Ministry of Health anticipated vaccinating a hundred of Mauritians on this first day of the vaccination campaign.
The process of getting inoculated consists of filling out a form that has a questionnaire about the person’s medical history and a consent form to agree to get the vaccine, next a covid-19 vaccination record card is filled with the details of the person. It is what will be used as a reference to know when to get the next vaccine and when the first dose was given. After this paperwork is completed, the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine is administered and there’s a waiting time of 30minutes to make sure the person does not have any side effects.
In case of any side effects to the vaccine, arrangements are made to cater to them. The next dose is to be given after 28 days.
Dr. Geelani, the first Mauritian to have been vaccinated, described the moment as extraordinary.
“It is an extraordinary moment, we are at that success phase whereby we can combat this pandemic. As the first person to be given the vaccine, I feel good,” he said.
Medical staff being the first recipient of the vaccine set the example, he argues before encouraging all Mauritians to do so. His next vaccine will be given on the 22nd of February 2021.
Dr. Keeshan Singh Lollbeeharry who also got a shot of the vaccin said that he was anxious because of the side effects of the vaccine. “I am a little anxious because of the side effects, but that is better than contracting the Covid-19,” he said.
In his statement, the Ministry of Health, Kailash Jagutpal, thanked the Indian government as it is through their help that Mauritius received the first batch of vaccines.
“These vaccines are dedicated to all those front-liners that have been working. It is just the beginning, we will start going to different regions as well in order to vaccinated as many people as possible,” he said
He also explained that everything will be done according to the vaccination plan that has been established under the Prime Minister.
The vaccination plan so far consists of vaccinating people at the Victoria Candos Hospital on the 26th of January, the Airport on the 27th of January, the Port on the 29th of January, and as from next week, it will be back to the hospitals.
As for the second batch of vaccines, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Mauritius, Dr. Laurent Musango, affirmed that the vaccines under the Covax Facility will reach Mauritius before the 15th of February 2021, however, the number of vaccines and the exact date was not revealed.
The High Commissioner of India, Kottapally Nandini Singla said: “It is an honor and privilege for India to be able to help the people of Mauritius at a time of need like this,” she said.
She also emphasized that Mauritius is a special partner to India. “Mauritius is a very unique priority partner country for India, we have super-special ties as our leadership often says. We are happy that within a week after we started vaccinating our own frontline and healthcare workers in India we were able to supply 100,000 vaccines for the frontliners of Mauritius,” she emphasized.
This first vaccination campaign will be rolling out the 100,000 doses of vaccines given as aid from India, to 50,000 front-liners while preparations are made to await the next batch of vaccines.