–Dr. Ramsammy says ‘encouraging’ turnout confirms interest in COVID vaccine
REGION Two health officials on Friday conducted another successful drive-through vaccination exercise with over 150 persons taking the COVID-19 injection.
During the event, which was held at the Anna Regina car park, persons were given the first dose of the Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm vaccines. The second dose of the Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines were also available.
According to Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Ranjeev Singh, over 13,000 persons out of 30,500 eligible residents in the region have so far been vaccinated, which accounts for 42.4% of its adult population. Dr. Singh said it is his desire for the region to attain 80% herd immunity. If this is achieved, persons in the region would be able to return to their regular day-to-day life.
Another drive-through vaccination event is scheduled for Monday, and will target the Charity and Pomeroon population. He, therefore, urged persons to come out and get vaccinated, so as to avoid getting severely ill from the virus.
Adviser to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who was on hand to witness the event, said he is satisfied with the turnout, and had seen the interest many Essequibians have shown in getting vaccinated.
He said that according to available data, over 1000 Region Two residents have already taken the vaccine in other neighbouring regions. Dr. Ramsammy said that despite the negativity being peddled in the media, persons are showing interest, and this is confirmed by the massive turnout the vaccination drives are attracting.
He said he is encouraged by the number of persons showing up, despite all the negativity in the media. He told reporters that the vaccination campaign started with an active “whisper” against it. Since the start of this campaign, over 227,000 persons have had their first dose, which is almost half of the country’s adult population.
“By the end of this weekend, we will reach another milestone. One hundred thousand people in Guyana will be fully vaccinated, and that means, in terms of COVID vaccination, more than 20% of Guyana’s total adult population would be vaccinated, and that will put us to the highest number in CARICOM,” Dr. Ramsammy said. He dismissed claims made by Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon that the vaccines in Guyana are fake.
“When the Leader of the Opposition deems our vaccine fake, he also admitted that he took both doses, and he is fine and healthy. And yet he is trying to tell people that the vaccines are not safe. Clearly, when Mr. Harmon stood in front of the media, he stood as a healthy adult. The vaccine did not harm him, and the vaccine is protecting him… I am glad that people are ignoring him,” Dr. Ramsammy said.
He said there are no reports of any of those who are fully vaccinated being tested positive for the virus. Scores of persons turned up at the car park to get vaccinated.
Dyal Singh, who took the first dose, said he was pleased with the efforts being made by the Regional Health Services to ensure that the population is immunised.