Authorities seek to boost low level of staff vaccination at Dominica’s main hospital

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) Dr Dexta James, has revealed that a recent study has shown that only 38% of the hospital staff are vaccinated, occasioning the implementation of a campaign to increase this figure.

Speaking at a press conference on August 23, 2021, Dr James reported that between August 3rd and 5th, four members of staff of the DCFH tested positive for the coronavirus which prompted management to launch an antigen testing program under the theme ‘know your status.’

From the 490 and staffers tested, only 15 antigen tests returned positive.

This  data-gathering exercise also revealed that of the nearly 500 employees, 58% of the staff are unvaccinated, 4% partially vaccinated (received the first shot) and 38% were fully vaccinated.

The study further indicated that among staff involved in direct patient care, the highest level of vaccination was among doctors – 63%, while only 27% of the nurses employed at the DCFH had received the jab, placing them in the lowest category.

“When you look at orderlies, 33% of orderlies have been fully vaccinated, and about  63% of them unvaccinated,” Dr. James said. “And finally, when we looked at the ward aids, we saw that 40% of them were fully vaccinated and about 55% unvaccinated.”

As it pertains to the various departments, only 35% of staff at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department were fully vaccinated; 65% were not vaccinated. 44% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff were fully vaccinated and 50% were not. At the neonatal unit, 67% of the staff were unvaccinated with only 27% being fully vaccinated. A similar situation exists in the dialysis unit where 14% of the staff were fully vaccinated and 78.5% were unvaccinated. The oncology unit reported figures of  40% fully vaccinated and 60% unvaccinated while at the Acute Psychiatry Unit (ACU) 44% of staff are fully vaccinated and just about 50% are unvaccinated.

“We opined that the vaccination by staff at the hospital is low to moderate when we look at the overall vaccination status of our staff within Dominica and outside of Dominica,” the DCFH CEO stated.

Based on the findings from the vaccination information received on staff, management felt it necessary to increase the vaccination level at the institution, hence the launch of the “aggressive vaccination initiative” to target all unvaccinated staff.

Implemented with support from the Dominica Medical Association (DMA), Dominica Nursing Association (DNA), the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the campaign is intended to improve the vaccination status of staff at the hospital, and more specifically, staff directly involved in direct patient care.

Dr. James is partially attributing vaccine hesitancy among his staff to negative information and misinformation on social media as well as access to the vaccines, which he says the initiative hopes to address.

“We are taking steps to have senior doctors and nurses trained up to administer vaccines, and lead the program so that staff do not have to leave here to go anywhere else to get vaccinated,”  he disclosed. “So the program is an aggressive one. It is not only for staffers, but it is also for patients coming to the Accident and Emergency Department and as well as inpatients on our wards at any particular time.”

Though a deadline for this campaign was not given, the team hopes to have at least 65% of all of the staff fully vaccinated at the end of the exercise and plans on targeting the undecided employees in the first instance.

“We have a lot more work to do with those who are naysayers. There are a lot of myths out there about the vaccine and we have to now bring science and evidence to our healthcare workers, for them to make decisions,“ Dr James pointed out.

While many countries have prohibited unvaccinated health care workers from rendering their service, the CEO assured that the same will not be done at the DCFH, however, unvaccinated staff will be subjected to a bi-weekly antigen test.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said publicly on more than occasion, that he is not advocating for mandatory vaccination but has strongly appealed to Dominicans to get vaccinated in order to be able to effectively combat the virus.

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44 Comments

  1. Ibo France
    August 26, 2021

    I took umbrage with the anti-vaxxers who used their venomous hatred to curse those who have advocated for the taking of the vaccine.

    I’m equally livid with those persons who have taken the vaccine and regard those who have refused to do so as fools.

    It’s one’s non-negotiable right to decide what foreign substance goes into his/her cells.

    To take or not to take for whatever reason(s) is a very personal decision. Education, enlighten, gentle persuasion is needed to convince the skeptics not naming calling nor the big stick. The harsh rhetoric is mostly just unhelpful.

  2. Goldy JB
    August 25, 2021

    I wonder why most of the people who face the most risk don’t want it 😁😁😁

    • Gary
      August 26, 2021

      Do you know how silly you are, lol. You have authority to make an assessment for yourself whether to be vaccinated or not, that’s where were the buck stops. You have no authority to make an assessment based on what you believe or assume for other people.

  3. Waiting For Airport
    August 25, 2021

    Forget you and me and our opinion… the nurses and doctors seeing it for what it is… no propaganda can overide the reality they seeing with their two eyes… and based on what they see, they not taking it… these people are not ignorant, they are more knowledgeable than anybody else on the planet and they refuse

  4. Jonathan Y St Jean
    August 24, 2021

    Dominca, we have a problem. Nurses are among the educated people in the country and the article states that they are hesitant to take the vaccine because of misinformation. The nursing field is based on science and if the majority of them who graduated from nursing school to become nurses and are unable to distinguish between scientific facts and propaganda and fake news, as it pertains to the pandemic my question is how the hell did they graduate from nursing school? Was it a case that the parl rep spoke to someone on their behalf? When the nursing field is so full of dumb people no wonder so many others are hesitant. The management of the health ministry have their work cut out for them to try and educate these nurses who don’t understand science. Dominca has a big problem. To most of them nursing must be only the practical things they do and following the orders of doctors without understanding the reasoning for things. The vaccine is authorized.

    • Anson Pantz
      August 24, 2021

      You can’t fix stupid. But missionaries and racists can make stupid.

    • TsadaqYah
      August 24, 2021

      I hope your vaccine is your ticket to heaven seeing that’s where your trust is . respect people personal medical decisions and respect the nurses while they working you just TALKING

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        August 25, 2021

        @TsadayYah, you seem to be living your life in fear of dying. I feel sorry for you. Death is a certainty, put that in your pipe and smoke it. I see those nurses who are hesitant to take the vaccines just like the suicide bombers. They have their ideology and will kill and die for it. Same here with those who are hesitant to take the vaccine. They don’t care about others nor themselves. They care about their fake news ideology instead of the facts from credible sources that the vaccines are safe like other vaccines. Phizer vaccine has been authorized for use and the other two which have emergency use authorization are slated to receive that in weeks. These suicide bombers aka hesitant vaccine deniers better come to grips eith reality. They will call ISIS murderers but they are on the same mission by not getting the vaccine to save lives. I’m talking. Shame on them.

    • Gary
      August 26, 2021

      It is sad when people like you can sit behind a computer and make such ludicrous statements or hold nonsensical beliefs about other people who make decisions contrary to what you believe. Why don’t you start with yourself. When you write such comment do you think that it shows you are someone who can distinguish between scientific facts and propaganda and fake news, it also shows what this so-called pandemic has done to the mind, lol. How arrogant are you to suggest, “how the hell did they graduate from nursing school,” wow. I will tell you. It’s their competence to understand and retain the knowledge taught to them. Have you heard the saying, “whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” You should also know, that a difference of opinion leads to inquiry and inquiry to the truth, Thomas Jefferson, so long for your arrogance.

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        August 26, 2021

        @Gary, you can quote all your fancy quotes but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the scientific community world wide have approved of the vaccines and are encouraging others to do so. For 60% of the nurses in Dominca and yourself to have difficulty understanding that, then you are allowing your ideology to interfere with whatever schooling you may have received. As to whether you learnt anything at school is being made clear by your failing to realize that hundreds of millions of people world wide have taken the vaccine and a miniscule number have had adverse reactions. If you and the nurses can’t figure out from that statistic that the vaccines which are now being authorized are safe then you must have crammed your way through school and college. No medicine is 100% effective so the small number of setbacks don’t put into question the efficacy of the vaccines that’s why they are receiving full authorization. What don’t you understand?

    • If we knew better
      August 26, 2021

      Jonathan, you only assume they cannot distinguish actual facts from propaganda. Do you know there is scientific facts on both sides of the argument. In the end, everyone has a personal choice about what they inject or ingest into their bodies. If you decided to take the vaccine fine no problem. If something wrong happens to you and others because of it you may not think they are so dumb now. At least they know they test negative, they feel healthy and are still doing their jobs. Whats so wrong in that? Getting vaccinated doesnt mean i cant give covid to you, or you to me. where is your logic? Some say it only lessens the effect if you get it. so really….that is my personal choice and business if i want to get all the effects or just some of them. It doesnt prevent me from then giving it to you after. so the nurses are maybe right. vaccinated or not, they can still get and give it. Also if you are vaccinated and feel so strongly about it, then you yourself should have nothing to fear.

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        August 26, 2021

        @if we knew better, I raised this question recently and I’ll raise it again with you. Some of those who have received the vaccines have given blood, so whatever conspiracy theories about what’s in the vaccines and what the vaccines will do exist in the blood supply. If you or a hesitant nurse or other vaccine hesitant person gets sick and requires blood, will you abandon your hardline denial and take the transfused blood? or will you choose death instead? The vaccines are receiving full authorization, hundreds of millions of people from around the world are receiving the vaccines with minimal hick-ups. Are you telling me that the nurse deniers and other deniers are more knowledgeable than the many prominent scientists who tell us that the vaccines are safe? I don’t think so. Credible information can be found in credible sources like long existing medical journals not from Facebook or from YouTube. The CDC and other agencies in the developed world tell us the vaccines are safe.

  5. We the People
    August 24, 2021

    Somebody help me please, sooplay. If vaccinated and unvaccinated alike can get the dam COVID and spread it, what is this really about?

    Bon Diay go and look at Gibraltar again … doh take my puny word for it.

    Stop harassing people about taking vaccine before no trouble…….

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      August 24, 2021

      @We the People, good to know that you are only getting to know about vaccines and medicines in general. No one ever said that the vaccines were 100% effective. No medicine ever is. Some people die from taking penicillins. Some people also die even when they get the yearly flu vaccines. Educate yourself.

      • Gary
        August 26, 2021

        I wonder if you really understood the comment made by @We the People, especially as it regards to the opening paragraph of the comment ,”WHAT IS THIS REALLY ABOUT” Why do you think that your understanding of something means what it is.

        • Jonathan Y St Jean
          August 26, 2021

          @Gary, every year I take the flu vaccine and many others do as well. Every year some people who received the flu vaccine unfortunately die and others still get the flu. Same here with COVID-19 vaccines. Gary no one said that the vaccines were 100% percent proof against the virus. The scientific information states that those who receive the vaccines do get the new variant and are less likely to die from it. Those who still get the new variant will of course spread the virus but they won’t die and fill up the hospitals as happened in February to October of 2020. States had to build makeshift hospitals, don’t you remember? Since the vaccines hospitalizations are way down. This means that the vaccines are doing a great job for society of keeping the virus at bay. You simply lack understanding of facts, Gary. Wake up and stop following fake news and think. Since the vaccines the world is a safer place.

      • If we knew better
        August 26, 2021

        feller, vaccines have been around for hundreds of years, many have been tested and retested for the same amount of time. COVID has only been around for less than 2 years. You cannot tell me the science has had ample time and research done to adequately inform of the dangers or safety of this. fine go ahead and take all because “they” say its safe. Hope is the johnson and johnson one you take.

        • Jonathan Y St Jean
          August 26, 2021

          @if we knew better, it sounds like you are living in fear of dying and you believe that it’s only the vaccine which will lead to your demise.

  6. Ibo France
    August 24, 2021

    The wearing of masks, thorough washing of hands and keeping your distance play a major role in keeping the coronavirus at bay.

    The vaccines help. However, the vaccine is not the silver bullet for the disease. Double vaccinated persons are dying from the present Delta variant. In fact, medical authorities are recommending a third dose as a booster. It has been found that the efficacy of the second dose wanes after six months. This information comes from a medical doctor in Israel regarded by many reputable medical Institutions as the COVID-19 Czar.

    The message is that double vaccinated persons are becoming infected and are also dying. That’s the sobering truth. The authorities here are giving the false impression that once you take the second dose of the vaccine you are immune to death if you happen to catch the coronavirus.

    DNO, I urge you one more time to post Mia Motley’s speech on how she plans to convince those anti-vaxxers.

    • Zandoli
      August 24, 2021

      Twice you mentioned double vaccinated people die after exposure to the virus. What you did not mention was how many people amoung the double vaxxed (1.92 billion people) died after the double dose.
      The fact is over 99% of fully vaccinated people will survive infection with the virus.

      Our best defense is to get fully vaccinated and augment that with the other protocols that we employed prior to approval of the vaccines.

      • Ibo France
        August 25, 2021

        @Zandoli

        Ok! I try hard to be concise for I truly believe in brevity. But, I find myself been too lengthy most of the times. In order to condense my posts inevitably I have to sacrifice some details most of the times.

  7. eyeronee
    August 24, 2021

    Now in stock. Aisle 3 in Shine Union. Between the umbrellas and plastic pot plants.

  8. Ti Garcon
    August 24, 2021

    There is no consensus or overwhelming majority of doctors or scientists promoting this, only those who are allowed to promote the agenda are given media attention.
    The people say believe the science are the same people saying there are more than 2 genders. Are there an infinite amount of genders?
    Also, aren’t you aware that every year there are dozens of FDA approved drugs being recalled for side effects not foreseen during testing, which usually takes a minimum 7 years. All of a sudden, science is so advance that 6 months we can place confidence in a mass produced vaccine having no side effects. Are we being serious? Or are we giving in to fear mongering and propaganda?
    Let sane heads prevail, a vaccine without 90% approval/ acceptance within a society shouldn’t be mandatory.

    • Amarossa
      August 25, 2021

      You are the biggest scare-mongering ….. on this blog.
      You don’t seem to understand how science, technology and finance can go hand in hand to benefit medicine. No you don’t. Because if you did, you would understand how much money has been thrown aggressively at this pandemic. Economies like the G7 countries have placed IMMENSE resources to fi d a workable solution for the pandemic for all. Because God knows, we can’t hide in our homes forever.

      • If we knew better
        August 26, 2021

        get your likes up Amarossa!!!! So because billions have been thrown at it means what? Do you know that the reason why the world is how it is today is because of these G7 countries or G8 countries? FOH with that. Gullable you are. Do you really think the leaders of the world have YOUR best interest in heart before theirs? The money thrown at it doesnt mean any of these vaccines will prevent me from getting it or spreading it. that is a fact on the US CDC, PAHO and the WHO websites. Nothing you can say will dispute these facts. We still have to social distance, wash hands and surfaces etc. thats the real preventative.

      • Gary
        August 26, 2021

        Why would you equate the monies the G7 countries are spending is an effort at solving the Pandemic for all. When you say that science, technology and finance can go hand in hand to benefit medicine, is this really what’s happening. What is the effort you put to come up with such accepted belief. Do you think this is about God knows, we can’t hide in our homes forever, lol. Do you know about free will given to us as divine begins, do you know we have the choice to come into agreement with things presented to us or not come into agreement with things presented to us, that’s where our power lies. Why them if some of us choose not to come into agreement with what is presented, you describe us the biggest scare-mongers. Every time there was a revolution for change on this planet, it was always the minority who stood up and fight for change.

  9. Yes I
    August 24, 2021

    Good. There is too little vaccination in the country as a whole. There needs to be further education on the benefits of vaccination and the dangers of covid such as long covid, renal damage etc.

  10. JP
    August 24, 2021

    The authorities always speak about misinformation in social media and elsewhere. Shouldn’t they be more specific for the edification of the general public?

  11. Ti Garcon
    August 24, 2021

    You see, all these so called ‘ trust the science wise men running thier mouth taking about mandatory vaccinations, and telling people to shut up as if we are stupid and ignorant- here are the facts. Health workers in the field don’t trust the vaccine!!! And it’s not just a Dominican thing!
    It’s people without a science CXC want to act like know it alls. Trust the vaccine? I’ll give it 3 more years. At least.

    • JP
      August 24, 2021

      Point well taken. The same people who say to trust the science are the same ones who said that their gain of function virus could have never come from a lab. These are not the kinds of people I would trust to receive a glass of water from.

  12. Blaxx
    August 24, 2021

    Pure rubbish. What ignorance. Mediocrity. How can health professionals, who we place our lives in their hands, have so little confidence in the science. Smh. What ignorance is this. You have a degree in nursing? SMH. What a joke.
    .

    • If we knew better
      August 24, 2021

      That goes to show, if the health officials themselves dont trust the vaccine why should we? Trust the science? There isnt enough science in such a very small space of time to push something on the world’s population. Bill Gates himself, stated that he doesnt know if the vaccine works of not. Yet we see so many deaths and medical of issues of fully vaccinated people. I not trusting nothing but my own intuition. Not the science? not propaganda from anyone, not the peer pressure from friends and family. Go ahead all of all you be first. take the jab, wave your vaccination passport in the air like you good to go. Just dont end up getting COVID or its delta variant. Because your vaccine does nothing for it. i can still catch it and spread it. “oh you wouldnt get it as bad” as bad as what? as bad as who? that is not your business how good or bad i get it. is getting it that is the problem, and spreading it. So if vaccine cant prevent that, what good is it? I am better off not taking it.

  13. Channel 1
    August 24, 2021

    This significant hesitancy among health care workers to the COVID vaccines is not unique to Dominica but is also being seeing in other countries in the region such as Trinidad, Grenada, USVI, Guyana among others.

    I APPLAUD THESE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. They are very correct in their stance of being WISELY CAUTIOUS to these vaccines.

    The pro-Covid vaccine propagandists – many of whom are certainly less experienced & less knowledgeable on medical matters than these Covid vaccine cautious health care professionals – must let us know whether these health care professionals are anti-vax, selfish, ignorant and UNEDUCATED (labels the pro-Covid vaccine propagandists like to brand unvaccinated persons as being).

    • Zandoli
      August 24, 2021

      Which nurse who was trained in Dominica knows a rat’s behind about those vaccines to give an opinion against what the experts have said?
      If you want to listen to people who share your world view, that is your choice, but don’t come here pretending these nurses who work at the China Friendsgip hospital are vaccine experts.

      • Gary
        August 26, 2021

        Lol, what do you know about Vaccines, wow. You are so silly, it is sad, do you think that the knowledge to know and understand the science of vaccines is limited to nurses trained at The China Friendship Hospital in Dominica. Don’t you know, the knowledge to know and understand the science of vaccines is at everyone fingertips. On the planet we live on today, knowledge is not confined, it is acessable, if you want to live in perpetual ignorance and hold on to silly beliefs it’s your choice, yes ignorance is a choice, you choose to willfully ignore the knowledge which exist and is available.

  14. Bwa-Banday
    August 24, 2021

    Well here I come again.
    I will get blows but as usual I don’t give a hooch because this is total BS. Why do we even have unvaccinated staff working at PMH or in the healthcare system when vaccines are free. When you tell me 15% of nurses tested positive for covid and possibly did not know it I am REALLY pissed. Not because they had covid but because they were actively reacting with patients while ‘possibly” infected. You doh hearing then?

    Look PMH Bossman, I would rather have the hospital understaffed rather than have unvaccinated healthcare professionals interacting with patients some of which are already very very sick. Please give them an ultimatum to get vaxxed or get out. Yes sir, I really mean FIRE THEM forthwith! We love our healthcare workers but should not put up with this BS. If they want to listen to the QFM Rasta from Senjo with all his bogus conspiracy theories fine, but they don’t belong in our hospitals or clinics.

    Same for police and customs. Take the jab…

    • zandoli
      August 24, 2021

      Thank you. I agree 100%

    • Ibo France
      August 25, 2021

      @Bwa-Banday

      I usually agree with you but I beg to defer on this one. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not vaccinated you can become infected.

      I get the distinct impression that you have this fallacious notion that fully vaccinated people can’t contract the virus and pass the it to on. Not taking the vaccine for whatever reason does not make a person stupid. You saying that makes you sound stupid. Of course, which you are not.

    • Gary
      August 26, 2021

      It is funny how some people can have the tyrant syndrome laying dominant within them and not recognize it. Now, what if The PM advocated the statement you espoused, “give them an ultimatum to get vaxxed or get out. Yes sir, I really mean FIRE THEM,” I wonder what would be your view of The PM if he expressed such sentiments as yours. Opinions such as yours are cheap and worthless, it only belongs in your head, so long for your ignorance and silliness.

  15. Ibo France
    August 24, 2021

    I’m going to make two comments on this article hopefully concise.

    Every time I see or hear this I become livid. The name Dominica Chinese Friendship Hospital. It just isn’t right. Would we in our lifetime ever see the name Dominica on any public building in China? No! Never!

    We have to learn to ‘Big Up’ our own. First, Princess Margaret Hospital and now Dominica China Friendship Hospital. Why not name the hospital in honour of a local doctor, nurse or healthcare worker who has done yeoman service to the profession.

    Do Dominicans have a propensity to put foreigners before born and bred Dominicans? It appears so to me. SAD and RIDICULOUS!

    • If we knew better
      August 25, 2021

      i liked the Princess Margaret Hospital. Thats what ive known it as ALLL my life.

      • Ibo France
        August 25, 2021

        What did Princess Margaret do for Dominica or contribute to healthcare? Isn’t a bona fide Dominican who has significantly contributed to the health profession more deserving for the hospital to be named in his/her honor?

  16. If we knew better
    August 24, 2021

    Because this vaccination stuff is all experimental. Medical professionals who can actually think for themselves will now that. Being vaccinated doesnt stop the spread of contraction.

    • JP
      August 24, 2021

      Thinking for yourself is forbidden in this new world. You are to blindly trust the ‘experts’. Questions are totally out of place and stupid to boot. Logic and reasoning are cardinal sins my friend.

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