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By Kadim Joseph
Covid-19 vaccinations will be suspended at the multipurpose exhibition and cultural center from today, even as the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that tracking the virus is “under threat”.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced that citizens and residents are now being encouraged to take advantage of other vaccination sites against the COVID-19 virus at the Villa Poly Clinic, Glanville Clinic and major public health centers to receive their first, second and booster doses of the vaccination. Against the deadly and sometimes debilitating virus.
In addition, the Ministry clarified that this weekend, Covid-19 vaccines will be administered at the Villa Polyclinic from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday.
However, vaccination cards will continue to be issued at the multi-purpose centre.
Antigua and Barbuda has scrapped its Covid-19 protocols since the beginning of the year in an effort to transition to a state of “living with” the virus.
The Department of Health announced on Monday that PCR tests will no longer be required to confirm the Covid-19 virus in people who test positive with an approved rapid antigen test.
However, the ministry further clarified that PCR tests are still required for people with suspected or potential Covid-19 cases or contacts of confirmed cases.
The expensive test is also required when there are inconclusive rapid antigen tests, along with all cases requiring hospitalization for respiratory symptoms, and all people requiring hospitalization.
However, during a press conference this week, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cases are rising in 110 countries, stressing that this increase is mostly driven by Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
“This epidemic is changing, but it is not over yet,” warned Dr. Ghebreyesus.
He also warned that the ability to track the genetic evolution of Covid-19 was “at risk” as countries eased surveillance and genetic sequencing efforts.
He explained that this reality will make it difficult to detect new emerging and potentially dangerous variables.
The WHO director called on countries to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations, including health workers and people over 60, adding that the number of people still not immunized and at risk of serious illness and death is in the hundreds of millions.
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