APPROXIMATELY 73.6 per cent of adolescents in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) have received the first dose of the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The region’s adult population also recorded a 70.5 per cent vaccination rate; this is according to the region’s Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Cerdel McWatt, during a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Dr. McWatt said the immunsation drive has been receiving positive responses from residents in the region but more needs to be done. He said the uptake in vaccines, especially after the early reluctance to the vaccination drive, is due primarily to the health department’s assistance in the fight against COVID-19.
“I would like to encourage all to be a part of the process…this is not a forceful activity, but we expect persons to act with a great deal of responsibility to do the right thing, getting their jabs done at their earliest convenience.
“This will reduce the burden of COVID-19 in the region and the country, as a whole. We know that this is a worldwide issue, and so the faster we achieve herd immunity, then we can be back to some norm,” Dr. McWatt said, adding that the health department will continue to educate persons about the importance of the vaccine.
Early this year, the vaccines were made available at fixed vaccination sites at the Lethem and Aishalton Hospitals, the Annai Health Centre and through mobile units. But health centres across the region are now equipped to provide this service.