Guyana recording “slowdown” of persons getting vaccinated against Covid-19

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony today revealed that authorities are seeing a “slowdown” of persons coming out to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Generally, we have to get more people coming out…we’ve seen a slowdown, so to speak, of persons coming out to get the vaccine,” he stated during today’s update on the situation.

To date, 246,716 persons have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 50.7% of adult population while 130,429 persons are fully inoculated, representing 26.8%.

Regions Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are lagging behind with regards to the vaccination uptake, when compared to other regions.

The Health Minister noted that efforts are being made to encourage vaccination not only in those regions, but countrywide.

He reminded that the current Covid-19 restrictions cannot be removed unless the country achieves herd immunity.

“If we want to remove some of the restrictions that we currently have, then the only way we’ll be able to do that is if we’re able to achieve herd immunity and to do that, people will have to get the vaccines,” Dr Anthony posited.

The Health Minister had previously explained that for Guyana to achieve herd immunity, between 80% to 85% of the population needs to be fully vaccinated.

In addition to urging persons to get vaccinated, Dr Anthony is encouraging persons who would have received their first jabs, to return for their second shots.

Currently, first and second doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines are available in the country.

First doses of the Sputnik V vaccine are also available but the second shots are in limited supply.

The Ministry of Health will continue the administration of the second doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine from tomorrow but these jabs will only be offered to persons who had their first doses in April and will eventually be extended to those persons who received theirs in May.

Guyana is currently awaiting the arrival of another consignment of the second doses Sputnik V vaccines.

The country had experienced and continues to experience a delay in receiving the shipment of the second component after there was a global shortage due to the spike in the Delta variant. The Sputnik V vaccine has proven most effective against this variant.

In addition to these three vaccines, the country is expected to get a shipment of Johnson and Johnson vaccines next month. The Guyana Government had made a down payment for the acquisition of 150,000 single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine under a partnership agreement between the African Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).