All frontline health workers in Reg. 9 receive COVID jab

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All frontline healthcare workers in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo) have been vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus, according to Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony.

This means that Region Nine is now the first region to acquire 100% immunisation status for frontline health workers. This is followed closely by Regions Two and Six, where a large percentage of frontline healthcare workers have already been vaccinated.

“In both [regions] Two and Six, they have about 70 something per cent of their healthcare workers who have been immunised…others are a little bit lagging so we have to pick up in those areas,” the minister said.

A region that is of concern for the ministry is Region Ten, where persons are a bit reluctant to get vaccinated. As of Monday, March 22, a total of 20, 470 Guyanese have been vaccinated with approximately 2,000 immunisation per day.  In addition to frontline healthcare workers, Guyana is also vaccinating persons over the age of 60.

The government is also working to increase vaccination sites across to country to ensure every citizen is protected. Meanwhile, as more vaccines become available, the ministry will be looking at different ways of prioritising other groups of persons to be vaccinated, especially persons living in Regions Eight and Nine.

Regions Eight and Nine is grappling with illegal border crossings from neighbouring Brazil, one of the worst struck countries in the world by the virus. Reuters on Tuesday reported that Brazil alone has had more than 295,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 12 million cases of the virus.

A new variant of the virus known as P1 also originated from Brazil late last year. Experts say this variant is more contagious and has now been detected in 15 countries in the Americas and become a major cause for concern.

Dr Anthony stated that there are surveillance teams in both Regions Eight and Nine to monitor persons who may have crossed the border illegally.

“That is something that we have to keep monitoring, we have set up surveillance network in the Rupununi and in Region Eight to detect any persons that would cross and based on that, to also offer testing to them, so that we can detect whether or not people are coming over if they are positive,” the minister explained.

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