Health Minister vaccinated against COVID-19

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday took his COVID-19 vaccine, which he hopes would encourage the public to get inoculated against the disease.

The Minister was joined by his wife, Dr Shanti Singh; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Mr Malcolm Watkins; Advisor to the Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy; and journalist, Mr Denis Chabrol, who were all immunised with the Sputnik V vaccine, from Russia.

Minister Anthony said contrary to speculation that he was reluctant to take the jab, his first priority was ensuring that frontline healthcare workers were protected.

“We are in that position now where we have enough doses of vaccines that are available and we have a number of other doses that are in the pipeline that are going to come in Guyana. So, I think it is the right moment.

Former Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy receives his COVID-19 jab

“People feel I am hesitant to take the vaccine, so I want to dispel that myth to make sure that people can see that I have taken the vaccine. And now, if that was what was preventing them getting theirs, they can come on board and get theirs,” he said.

After taking the vaccine, Dr Anthony said he felt good taking the step to protect himself.  He said all the vaccines currently available globally are very important to protect people.

‘Getting the vaccine, I know some people might have some doubts, but getting the vaccine really protects you. It protects you from getting the more severe form of the disease and even if you do get infected, you will get a milder form of the disease.”

Minister Anthony noted that these vaccines make a big difference. With regard to people who are still sceptical about the timeframe within which the vaccines were produced, he said the COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in thousands of people in clinical trials. They have also now been administered to millions of people across the globe.

Journalist, Denis Chabrol, receives his COVID-19 jab

The Minister said apart from side effects such as headaches and fevers, which are common after vaccination, and which usually subside within 24 hours, there is no reason people should not get inoculated against Covid.

The Ministry of Health has reported that to date, approximately 42,000 persons have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Guyana. These include frontline healthcare workers, persons ages 60 years and older and those with comorbidities.

The Ministry has started vaccinating people 40 years and older. (Extracted and modified from DPI)

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