Linden Bridge cleared after protests over vaccine rules; info campaign to be rolled out

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The regional authorities in Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) intend to embark on an intense vaccine information campaign to help encourage residents to get vaccinated.

This was related by Regional Chairman Deron Adams hours after Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony announced that some workers will be given a two- week period to comply with the new vaccine rules.

Late Wednesday night, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony announced that health care workers as well as operators of minibuses, taxis and speed boat operators have been given a two week ‘grace period’ to comply with the recently gazetted COVID-19 measures on vaccinations.

Following the institution of these measures, unvaccinated staff and those seeking medical attention were denied entry into the Linden Hospital Complex, in Region 10.

On Wednesday, there were some protests in Region 10, where residents blocked the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge in Linden.

Protesters moved to block the bridge on Wednesday, Regional Commander Superintendent Hugh Winter confirmed to the News Room (Photo: Quelly Ranks/Facebook )

In a press statement on Wednesday night, the Health Minister said that the decision to grant a two- week period for compliance was made following his engagement with various stakeholders.

On Thursday, however, Regional Chairman Adams said that the regional authorities will use the two week period to engage in a vaccine information campaign which would hopefully encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“We believe that once we get enough time with (public relations) and with testimonials coming from various professionals that persons will make that decision to become vaccinated so that we can achieve herd immunity and what we have been pushing at the community level, community immunity,” Adams explained via a telephone interview.

Regional Chairman of Region 10, Deron Adams

Importantly, he said that the regional authorities have long been trying to engage people and dispel the misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccines.

And, during this two- week period, he said that the regional authorities from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) will work along with the Regional Health Officer (RHO) and the regional health workers to intensify the information campaign.

This region has had the lowest vaccination uptake since the COVID-19 vaccination rollout started in February.

On Thursday, too, the Chairman said that he hopes that funds will be made available to the region as it seeks to roll out this aggressive information campaign.

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