Region 9 kicks off COVID vaccination in Annai, Aishalton, Sand Creek and Lethem

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Making progress on their target to get all Guyanese vaccinated by the end of 2021, health officials commenced the rollout of the COVID vaccination programme in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) on Monday (March 15, 2021).

So far, over 250 persons have been vaccinated in Annai and Aishalton as the COVID-19 vaccine campaign advances across the Region.

The team also visited the Sand Creek community with vaccination continuing in the larger Lethem sub-district at the Lethem Health Centre up to March 19, 2021.

A Sand Creek resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: DPI)

Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Advisor to the Minister of Health, had on Tuesday described that to speed-up the COVID-19 immunisation process across the country, mobile vaccination teams have been deployed to each Region in addition to the over 30 fixed sites across the country.

Dr. Nial Uthman, Regional Health Officer, Region Nine, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the actual vaccination process was relatively incident free.

“When we arrived at Annai, we did some additional sensitisation there as some persons were not clear about the age groups to be facilitated, so we explained that. Some of them because of the numbers [ages below 60], we had to turn back. They live in close proximity, but we were able to give 141 persons vaccines in two days,” he said.

A Region Nine resident shows off his immunisation booklet (Photo: DPI)

Although the COVID-19 immunisation programme in keeping with global health practices, focuses on frontline health workers and persons who are 60 years and older, accommodation was made for teachers who travelled from remote villages to receive the jab.

This follows a recent statement made by the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, in an interview with 97.5 FM on Tuesday, March 9, 2021: “Region Nine received a letter from every village requesting for schools to be reopened and I will have to speak with the RHO where the Toshaos, parents and teachers are saying, ‘Why are you keeping us closed?”

The Ministry, along with the Guyana Teachers’ Union, has begun to prepare for when vaccines are made available to teachers.

Guyana is currently administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines and is expected to receive Russia’s Sputnik 5 COVID-19 vaccine soon and 149,000 doses under a CARICOM-African Union purchase agreement. (Modified from DPI)

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