High turnout for ‘drive thru’ COVID-19 vaccination drive
Though there was a little rain early Saturday morning, Guyanese still turned out in their numbers to take advantage of the government’s COVID-19 ‘drive-thru’ vaccination drive at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara.
The ‘drive thru’ vaccine initiative, launched in a bid to make vaccines more accessible to Guyanese, kicked off at 9:00hrs and was a smooth process.
The drive catered for persons who are now taking their first and second jab with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and those who required their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Director of Primary Health Care Services, Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton, who manages the immunisation programme, explained to the media that such activities are imperative to ensure that Guyana achieves herd immunity in the quickest possible time.
“We recognise that vaccination is not a stationary activity, but we have to be able to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the people around the country.”
Noting that COVID-19 is here for a while, Dr. Hamilton posited that Guyanese do not need to go through the harsh effects facing other countries. To do this, she added, more people need to be vaccinated.
“The more people we vaccinate, the better it will be for our country and the sooner we’ll be able to return to normalcy.”
Also at the event was the Region Four Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Gavinash Persaud, who explained that the ministry embarked on this initiative after it was observed that vaccination was low.
And with Region Four being the most populated, the first test drive was held here.
“If people turn out the way we want them to and we’re asking them to, then we will quickly achieve herd immunity, and then to some extent, we can step out of the pandemic and return to our normal lives,” the RHO relayed.
Within just a few hours of being started, Dr. Persaud said over 200 vehicles had already passed through the line. Persons, after registering and receiving their vaccines, move to an observation area where they receive a malta and are monitored for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, was in high praise of the initiative.
Giving short remarks, he said, “I’m happy that it’s working so effectively because as of this morning, I see a steady flow of vehicles coming through, which is a really good thing.”
When asked whether the initiative will be replicated in the other Regions, Minister Anthony said it all depends on the success of the first drive.