Antivaxxers, resisters are just uninformed or misinformed − Jagdeo

Some persons protesting against the national vaccination policy

In the face of anti-vaxxers, a number of whom mounted protests and blocked a bridge in Linden on Wednesday, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has made a personal appeal to them to do their own research, look at the statistics on the COVID-19 vaccine and get vaccinated, so that Guyana can return to normalcy.

He made this appeal during a broadcast interview with a social commentator on Tuesday. According to Jagdeo, the statistics – both local and international – show that those who are vaccinated are far less likely to spread and be hospitalised with COVID. Jagdeo noted that cases in Guyana where persons have been seriously hospitalised or died from COVID-19, have all been among the unvaccinated.

“Look at the statistics. In the world upwards of 2 billion people have been vaccinated. And if you look at the hospitalisation, very very few from the hospitalised group have been in the hospitals. Because even if they catch the COVID, it doesn’t become severe. There is that evidence,” the Vice President said.

“In Guyana’s case, we have about 56 per cent of our adult population vaccinated. That is with a first dose. We have 30 per cent fully vaccinated. I am vaccinated. All the MPs are vaccinated. You don’t see us growing horns or having an adverse effect. And most of those people are not in hospital. The doctor who was in hospital, the nurse who died recently. They were not vaccinated.”

Jagdeo noted that they have been fortunate to vaccinate approximately 86 per cent of the elderly population, who are the most at risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Research has shown that unvaccinated persons are much more likely to have symptoms of COVID if they contract and are much more likely to spread the virus.

The Vice President assured that those who are against the vaccine roll out are not bad people, but rather they have fallen prey to misinformation. Touching on the restrictions to accessing Government services, Jagdeo made it clear that the unvaccinated cannot expect to have the same ease of access as those who are vaccinated, in the process spreading the COCID-19 virus.

“The vaccines are saving lives. Any vaccine, one dose or two. So, we have to talk to our people. People who [don’t] want vaccines, they’re not monsters. They’re not bad people. They’re just misinformed. And they bought into a lot of rumours. And it’s up to the leaders to change that. To assure them that the vaccines are for your own good.”

“And I’m appealing to people. It’s not just your health at risk. It’s fine if you were living on your own. And you have a right to live in your home as a hermit. But the minute you start going out, you go to work or a club and everyone else has taken the vaccine and you haven’t you’re putting other people’s lives at risk.

Lindeners on Wednesday formed human blockades at the Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge in protest as nurses and other staff attached to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 were denied entry into the medical institution. The staff attached to the Hospital were reportedly told on Tuesday that in order to gain entry, they would have to show their vaccination cards to the security at the gate.