COVID-19: A quarter of Guyana’s adult population now vaccinated
Almost two months after Guyana began its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, just about 25% of the country’s adult population have been vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, said at the close of April 26, 2021, approximately 124,000 adults in Guyana received the first dose of either the Sputnik V, AstraZeneca or Sinopharm vaccine.
From among this group of vaccinated persons, 2, 800 adults have been fully vaccinated after receiving both the first and second doses.
Dr Anthony said he was very pleased with the response from the younger population. The country’s vaccination campaign got into full gear just about two weeks ago when the government lowered the age of eligibility to 18.
“Once we lowered it to 18 and above, we saw an influx of people wanting to get vaccinated. In the first week, we saw a lot of people coming forward and we are working and encouraging more but that has dropped a bit,” Dr Anthony said during Tuesday’s daily COVID-19 briefing.
There are currently over 100 fixed vaccination sites across the country with the Ministry of Health working along with non-governmental organisations and faith-based groups to host special vaccination outreaches.
Dr Anthony said vaccination sites are also now open until 6 pm weekdays and on weekends to cater to the working class.
“Response has been generally good but we want to do better,” Dr Anthony said. He hopes that by next week, Guyana would be closer to having 50% of the population vaccinated.
The Health Minister made a special appeal to the older population to whom the vaccine was first offered. He reminded that based on mortality statistics from the pandemic, the majority of persons who have died have been found to be above the middle age bracket.
Dr Anthony assured that more vaccines are coming with some 38,000 of the AstraZeneca expected from the COVAX facility before the end of May 2021. This constitutes a second shipment and will complement the 24,000 doses already received from COVAX.
Guyana procured 400,000 of the Sputnik V, and received additional donations of 20,000 Sinopharm vaccines from China and AstraZeneca from India.
The Health Minister said all the vaccines have been “tried and tested” and are safe for Guyanese to take.