Health ministry contemplates vaccination drive alternatives after low turnout

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Alternatives for vaccination drives are being considered after low turnout at recent events to immunize persons against COVID-19.

The Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, in his daily COVID-19 update on Thursday said the matter is being assessed to decide whether to continue vaccination drive activities.

“We didn’t have a lot of people coming forward. We are trying to analyse what are the factors that were preventing people from accessing these vaccines and what is creating that level of hesitancy,” the minister said.

Dr Anthony explained that the most recent vaccination drive targeted the age five to 11 cohort. He said this activity was held to distribute the second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to these children.

He further said the ministry is contemplating whether vaccination drives are the best option to get persons in communities immunized since it is costly.

“These exercises cost a lot of money to organize because we have to put a lot of staff and infrastructure in place and if we are not going to get a lot of turnout it’s probably not economical to do these drives,” he noted.

He said the ministry is considering alternative ways of reaching persons.

He reminded that COVID-19 immunization is important to ensure that persons do not become severely infected with the disease.

The vaccination rate in Guyana currently stands at adult first doses: 444,913 or 86.7 per cent; adult fully vaccinated: 344,558 or 67.2 per cent. The adolescent first dose figures are: 35,364 or 48.5 per; those fully vaccinated amount to 25,865 or 35.5 per cent. Age five to 11 first doses is recorded at 6,210 or 6.1 per cent and age five to 11 fully vaccinated stands at 1,448 or 1.4 per cent.

70,874 persons have received their booster shot.

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