Regions 8 & 10 lagging behind in Covid-19 vaccination drive – Pres. Ali

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony during a Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony during a Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country

President Dr Irfaan has expressed concerns over the slow uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines in Regions Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Ten (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice).

During an address to the nation on Thursday evening, President Ali implored persons to take the vaccine, while also calling on all leaders in society to encourage people to get immunised so that the country can achieve herd immunity as soon as possible.

The Head of State lauded collective efforts that led to more than 154,000 persons receiving their first dose COVID-19 vaccine, which amounts to 31% of the adult population in Guyana.

This includes 61% of persons 60 years and older; almost 29% of persons between 40 to 59 years, and 21% of persons between 10 to 39 years. This is coupled with thousands of persons already fully vaccinated.

However, he noted that while the response has been exceptional throughout Guyana, there is an alarming low rate in at least two regions.

“In every single administrative region, we would have had between 30 and 36 per cent coverage of the population above 18 years old, with the exception of Regions 8 and 10…Particularly in the case of Region 10, only 8.9 per cent of the population above 18 years old took the first dose of the vaccine to date… This is very concerning, this is very alarming,” the President expressed.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

The President added that while there has since been an improvement following a government outreach in Region Ten recently, more still needs to be done to get citizens there vaccinated especially since the region is the gateway to the interior.

To this end, the Head of State noted that government will continue with its education and public awareness exercise but in the same breath, reminded persons that they too have a collective responsibility.

He went onto to call upon all leaders in society to also ensure that they too encourage more persons to get vaccinated.

According to President Ali, Guyana will only get ahead of the pandemic if all Guyanese come together in this fight, and this can only happen if the population remains healthy and protected against COVID-19.