As Omicron variant spreads, low vaccination uptake in Reg. 10 remains a concern
A significant number of people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine locally but low vaccination uptake in Region 10 continues to be a concern, particularly now that the new Omicron variant has been detected in several countries.
This is according to the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, who spoke during his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday.
The minister said that some 78.9 per cent of the adult population or 409,254 people have received a first dose; some 56.8 per cent or 291, 473 people have received a first and second dose.
These figures illustrate that Guyana is inching towards herd immunity, a concept that refers to the level of widespread protection people are likely to have when a majority of the population has developed immunity against a disease.
A challenge, however, is that there continues to be a persistent, low vaccination rate in Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice). In fact, only 39.1 per cent of adults in this region have taken a first vaccination dose; Dr. Anthony says that even fewer people took second doses.
Comparatively, the other vaccination rate for a first COVID-19 dose are listed below:
- Region One- 85.2 per cent
- Region Two- 63.9 per cent
- Region Three- 76.8 per cent
- Region Four- 89.6 per cent
- Region Five- 79 per cent
- Region Six- 78.8 per cent
- Region Seven- 81.8 per cent
- Region Eight- 51. 3 per cent
- Region Nine- 76.1 per cent
Studies are still ongoing to determine how much vaccines will continue to protect against the new Omicron variant. For now, scientists say that the vaccines continue to protect people from experiencing the more serious and life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19.
But Dr. Anthony says vaccination remains crucial to protect against COVID-19 and its newer variant.
“If you are infected, (vaccination) will help you to protect yourself, you will get a milder form… at least you won’t get hospitalised and you wouldn’t die from COVID-19,” he stated.
As such, he encouraged people who have not taken any COVID-19 vaccine as yet to get those, and he asked that people who are due for their second doses and booster shots to take those as well.