Guyana to use USAID funds to tackle vaccine hesitancy, promote children’s vaccination

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The local health authorities will be using its allocation from the US $25 million contributed to the Caribbean by USAID to tackle vaccine hesitancy and promote vaccination among children, particularly since the country is expected to begin immunising children aged five to 11 shortly.

This is according to the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony who spoke during his COVID-19 update on Wednesday. According to the minister, countries in the Caribbean will be using the funds to improve their communication strategies to tackle vaccine hesitancy among their populations.

And, Dr. Anthony said that Guyana will be boosting its own communication strategy to combat misinformation and myths about the COVID-19 vaccines, particularly those spread rampantly on social media. In doing so, he believes that more people will agree to get vaccinated.

These funds are being contributed by the United States of America (USA) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This COVID-19 assistance will be given to the Bahamas, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.

According to Dr. Anthony, the contribution is also particularly timely because children from the ages of five to 11 could start receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines soon, pending approval from the US health authorities.

“… I am sure that some of the countries will use the funding to educate parents, to educate teachers and the general public for the vaccines for children,” Dr. Anthony said.

Dr. Anthony said the vaccines have been proven safe and once children aged five to 11 are vaccinated, it is possible that these children can return to face-to-face classes.

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