–Health Minister says non-nationals here can also get it
MINISTER of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has said that anyone in Guyana, whether a Guyanese national or not, can benefit from government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.
He made this disclosure during his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday, where he stated that this position supports government’s overarching goal of herd immunity.
According to the minister, the Government of Guyana, like many other governments globally, know that the only way the pandemic can be controlled is if everyone within their borders take the necessary precautions, which include taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
He indicated that Guyana has facilitated the vaccination for a number of Caribbean nationals as well as citizens from neighbouring countries.
The health minister noted that the government’s vaccination drive does not require persons to provide proof of citizenship before the vaccine is administered.
“We have a very open policy, so we don’t check to see which nationality you are before you can get a vaccine. And so our policy has been very open. I think a number of Caribbean nationals who are here in Guyana benefit from the vaccination programme. For us to achieve heard immunity, it means that the people who are here should get vaccinated; so if they are residing in Guyana, we don’t have a problem giving them a vaccine,” said Minister Anthony.
Further, in keeping with the government’s commitment to assist citizens of Caribbean territories, Minister Anthony said several staff members of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) were vaccinated.
He noted that the company had written to the ministry, seeking assistance with getting its staff members who were arriving here from Trinidad vaccinated.
“We did receive a letter from the airlines asking us whether or not we could assist with vaccination of their staff, and we agreed. So we have been working. When the staff come in to one of our vaccination sites, we provide the vaccines for them,” he stated.
The minister did not disclose when this initiative commenced, or the number of CAL staff that have received their vaccines through Guyana’s vaccination programme.
Minister Anthony noted that the government has made significant strides in ensuring that local airport staff are also vaccinated.
He stated that the Ministry of Health previously dispatched health officials to Guyana’s main ports of entry to facilitate the vaccination of those staff members. He added that the ministry plans to embark on a similar initiative in the near future to give those persons who did not have the opportunity to benefit from the first vaccination drive to be able to do so.