Last weekend, I had a disturbing conversation with a taxi driver. The conversation began with me asking if he received the COVID vaccine. This taxi driver gave a very long speech about the pharmaceutical companies and their alleged involvement in the pandemic. He didn’t stop there, he refuted that senior Government officials were vaccinated, and shared a conversation he said he had with a health-care provider.
I repeated this conversation to a colleague, and he, too, shared what was said by another person. Well, I was disappointed, a bit confused, and lost for words.
I think that, as health care workers, we should be careful how we share our opinions. I think we should keep our opinions to ourselves, especially if sharing is likely to create confusion in the minds of the citizenry. We should desist from undermining the efforts of the Government to save lives, especially during a time when many are losing their loved ones to this pandemic.
We should commend the Government for its efforts to ensure all eligible Guyanese are vaccinated. To date, almost 150,000 Guyanese have been vaccinated. While we are not a rich nation, approximately twenty percent of the population has received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine. This is great news. Kudos to the authorities.
However as successful as this is, I believe that if we should share with citizens why it is necessary for them to take the vaccine, more Guyanese would be vaccinated. As health-care workers, if it’s your desire not to take the vaccine, please don’t deny others the right to make a personal choice to be vaccinated. Please, let us continue to be responsible citizens and promote positivity.