Health Minister says young people hesitant to take COVID jabs
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony says there is hesitancy and low vaccination rates in the 18 to 40 age group.
This, he said, is worrisome for the ministry. During his daily COVID-19 update on Wednesday, the Health Minister said authorities are also facing difficulties in immunizing youths who are not in school.
As a result, there has been a low uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines in children between the ages of 12 and 18.
“The group that we are worried about, where we have seen relatively low uptake would be the 18 to 40 age group.
“I think one of the things we have to do is to get more parents involved or guardians,” Dr Anthony stated.
The ministry has been conducting vaccination drives in schools across Guyana where school-aged children are being administered their COVID vaccines. There are also fixed vaccination sites in all regions of the country.
Dr Anthony did not state the reason for the vaccine hesitancy in young people but urged everyone to get vaccinated. He reiterated that persons can experience severe symptoms of the dreaded virus if they are not vaccinated.
Currently, Region Four has one of the highest vaccination rates of first dose vaccine and according to Dr Anthony, this has resulted in a decrease in positive cases, hospitalisations, and deaths.
Region Ten continues to record the lowest vaccination rates and in recent weeks, there has been a steady increase in positive COVID cases in that region.
“What we will end up having, is there are going to be regions where people are fully protected and there are going to be regions where people are unprotected,” Dr Anthony explained.
To date, 75.7 per cent of the adult population have received their first dose of a vaccine while 49.8 per cent received their second dose. As it relates to vaccination in children aged 12 to 18, 38.5 per cent received their first dose and 26.2 per cent received their second dose.
COVID-19 vaccines offered in Guyana include AstraZeneca (second dose), Sinopharm (first and second doses), Pfizer (first and second dose), Sputnik V (second dose) and the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.