Despite an aggressive campaign by the Ministry of Health to get Guyanese vaccinated against COVID-19, there has been reluctance in some quarters to get the jab.
Such a situation has left companies in a bit of a quandary, as there are employees who are still not keen on taking the shot. To help tackle the issue, local entity, Secure Innovations and Concepts Inc., has launched an initiative to motivate all staff to get inoculated.
Harold Hopkinson, the Chief Executive Officer, has instituted a monthly lottery of G$50,000 to encourage his employees to get vaccinated. The process is quite simple – employees send pictures of their vaccine cards to the CEO, the names of those employees are placed in an envelope and the name of the lucky person is drawn.
On Thursday, Shavance Vyphuis, became the first person to be rewarded and collected his cheque on the spot.
“I’m lost for words,” Vyphuis said after receiving the financial boost from Director of Security Operations and Training Officer, Dwayne Bagot, in the presence of the CEO.
Vyphuis said that he is “distraught” at the fact his employer had to take this route to get persons to understand the seriousness of the disease. The Security Officer experienced the devastating impact of the virus firsthand, and that led to his decision to get the jab once the vaccines became available in Guyana.
“I have in-laws who would have passed away from COVID, and I would have heard how devastating it was for them, so when it was announced there was a vaccine, for me, it wasn’t a question whether I would have taken it or not. It was an easy decision for me,” Vyphuis related.
CEO Hopkinson said his company is keen on safety and having everyone vaccinated in his employ is another clear demonstration of being a responsible corporate citizen.
“And I’m imploring on people to take the vaccine. It’s about safeguarding yourself, your family, the general public and everybody that you would interact with,” the businessman emphasised.
Hopkinson is urging Guyanese not to be brainwashed by negative information being peddled about the vaccines on various platforms.
He informed that his family has taken the shot, and the aim now is to have his entire staff complement follow suit.
“I hope the rest of the corporate community sees it fit to take some of the profits to show appreciation to the staff that have gone and taken the vaccines,” Hopkinson said.
Fully vaccinated staff will get their names placed twice in the lottery, and this exercise will continue on a monthly basis until the end of the year.