‘Get vaxed and protect your children from COVID-19’ – GCCI President urges
By Shikema Dey
It is no secret that children can become infected with the deadly COVID-19 virus and that fact has become more prevalent in Guyana over the past few weeks.
Earlier this month, the Minister of Health reported that health professionals were treating four young children who were hospitalised after they were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
In fact, two of those children required intensive care. And a 16-year-old child is currently receiving treatment in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown.
That worrying trend prompted strong comments from the President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker, who reiterated the importance of people getting vaccinated.
“They are still children, and children are now developing their immune system [so] you are putting your children at risk and from somebody that buried a child, I would not wish it on any parents to have to bury a child,” Tucker said during an interview with the News Room on Thursday.
“So for your children’s sake, I would beg the population to take the vaccine [because] it is important that you do so.”
The GCCI President pointed out that Guyana’s low COVID-19 vaccination number is “troubling” as the country aims to achieve herd immunity where 80% of the adult population has to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
And currently, there are just about 120, 914 fully vaccinated persons who have received both doses, representing 24.8% of the population, meaning Guyana has a far way to go before it can achieve herd immunity.
It is important to note that a major brick wall in the government’s way is the persistence of vaccine hesitancy. In this regard, Tucker noted that although the government has been doing its part, the onus is also on individuals to ensure that they conduct their own due diligence on the vaccines and be responsible citizens.
“You have had mixed reactions within the various regions…some regions they go into, some people are welcoming, some people have questions and the questions are answered, and they change their minds about the vaccine after that but then there are just some parts in the community that chase the health workers and it’s unfortunate that the health workers have to be the brunt of the misinformation and this kind of discourse [because] they don’t deserve it,” he outlined.
“At the end of the day, we need to support our people [and] we need to get our people vaccinated,” the GCCI President urged.
Since last year, Guyana continues to see a rapid increase in COVID-19 deaths and cases.