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Covid-19: Dr. Catherine Gaud : “ Mauritians are very lucky to have the vaccine ”

Dr Gaud

The Minister of Health, Kailash Jagutpal announces a new batch of 100,000 covid-19 vaccines for tomorrow, Saturday, 20th February 2021. Dr. Catherine Gaud,  immunologist and Senior Advisor at the Health Ministry says that: “Mauritians are very lucky to have the vaccine”.

The Minister of Health, Kailash Jagutpal announces, in a press conference, a new batch of 100,000 covid-19 vaccines for tomorrow, Saturday 20th, from the Serum Institute of India. Mauritius will be receiving the same vaccine, the Covishield, donated by the Indian government.

The 100,000 vaccines came from negotiations between Mauritius and India’s Serum Institute for an order of 300,000 vaccines. The rest of the vaccines will be received at the beginning of March and April, a hundred thousand per month, says Minister of Health, Kailash Jagutpal during a press conference. 

Kailash Jagutpal, also announced that the vaccination committee has approved the vaccine from Sputnik and the negotiations are ongoing. As for Pfizer / BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, the ministry of health is yet to receive an answer. 

Given that more vaccines are being available in Mauritius, the Minister of Health explained that this would allow them to conduct vaccinations on a larger scale to reach the objective of getting a “herd immunity”.

The objective of our vaccination program is to get herd immunity which means 60% of the population need to be vaccinated,” He says. 

The minister of Health explained that the vaccination campaign will be accelerated once more vaccines are received. In the meantime, emphasis still needs to be put on social distancing which will help keep the population healthy, he says. 

Dr. Catherine Gaud, Adviser for the Ministry of Health says “Mauritians are very lucky to have the vaccine, and that it should be understood that the vaccine 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.

Mauritius will also change its vaccination process. Instead of 28 days, as it was the case for the first batch, the interval between the first dose and the second dose will now be 12 weeks as publications of various scientific studies found that the vaccine is more efficient with such interval.

This will allow the Ministry of Health to vaccinate more people, says Kailash Jagutpal.

As of Monday, 22nd February, the vaccine will be available to every frontliners in the health industry, both private and public, NGO’s who work in the health industry, police officers, national coast guards, the staff of Air Mauritius, the Port and the tourism industry. The concerned people will be able to get vaccinated in any hospital whereby, vaccine clinic will be open from 09:00 to 15:00 on weekdays and 09:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays. 

There will also be 10 teams dispatched for mobile vaccinations whereby those teams will be affected to different regions to allow those people to get vaccinated without having to go to the hospital. 

The Covid-19 Situation in Mauritius

To date, Mauritius has had 603 cases with 215 cases being local transmissions and 388 imported cases. There are currently 30 active cases undergoing treatment in health centers and treatment centers, all stable. 

The patient who was tested covid-19 positive after 25 days, is stable, says Kailash Jagutpal. Contact tracing identified 21 people, and all of them tested negative and 13 of them are still in their 14 days quarantine. 

The vaccination program has had 4422 people inoculated which consisted of health workers, both from the private and public hospitals, as well as employees from AML, ATOL, Mauritius Port Authority, Air Mauritius, and Police Officers.