236,409 take first dose, 115,652 fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony
Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony

–young adults urged to get onboard

FOLLOWING government’s intensified efforts to combat the coronavirus, 236,409 Guyanese or 48.6 per cent of the adult population have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, in making this disclosure during his daily COVID-19 update, on Tuesday, stated that of that number, about 115,652 or 23.8 per cent of the adult population have received both doses of the vaccine and are now fully vaccinated.
He disclosed that while vaccination rates have been increasing, there is still a significant way to go before the country can achieve herd immunity which would be reflected in the vaccination of 80-85 per cent of the country’s adult population.
He noted that the largest demographic to receive the vaccine, which is being administered by the ministry, includes persons 65 years and older. He noted that while it can be said that this group accounts for a larger percentage due to the vaccines being available first to persons over 65, the ministry’s statistics show that younger persons are still not taking the vaccine in such a large quantity.

“We have had a good response with the older age group because most of those persons, remember we started with them earlier and most of those persons, when they had the opportunity they went out and got the vaccine, so vaccination rates among the older persons have been extremely high; I would say more than 75%. And the low age group because we started later, we have seen uptake in this age group but it’s not as much as we would want it to be and, therefore, we’re encouraging persons to come out and make sure they take their vaccines,” said Minister Anthony.
He encouraged younger adults to take vaccination more seriously, and noted that while many younger persons only experienced mild symptoms of the deadly virus, hospital records have been documenting an increase in the number of younger patients. Minister Anthony further noted that from that increased percentage of young persons being admitted to the hospital, an overwhelming majority have not been vaccinated. “We want to appeal to that younger age group to make sure that they take their vaccines. In addition to that, we know that the younger people are more active, and again, if they don’t take the precautions by wearing masks and so forth, they can be infected. They may have an asymptomatic or mild form of the infection and then they take it home to their families and in that way, there will be a continued spread of the disease,” he added.
Highlighting government’s overarching goal of achieving herd immunity, Minister Anthony noted that significant steps are being taken to ensure its vaccination efforts are bolstered.

Over the past week, government has received 100,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine which will be used to immunise some 50,000 Guyanese.
The Sinopharm vaccine, according to the health minister, will allow for an expanded reach across Guyana, as it does not require “ultra-cold” storage.
A major challenge government has previously encountered with hinterland communities and other far-flung communities across Guyana was getting the required storage capacities for COVID-19 vaccines such as the Russian-made Sputnik V, which requires a minus 20 degrees storage temperature.
Government has been intensifying its vaccination drive across the country using innovative solutions that allows for easier access to vaccination sites.
Additionally, the ministry has held several ‘drive thru’ vaccination initiatives in Regions Two, Three, Four and Six, and intends to extend this activity to the other administrative regions. The government has also embarked on several house-to-house vaccination drives to reach those persons who may not be able to make it to a vaccination site.
Minister Anthony, during his update, disclosed that the ministry will be setting up an additional 10 vaccination sites across Georgetown, this week, so as to increase its capacity to vaccinate persons living in the country’s most densely populated region.


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