Uptake in COVID jabs with ‘late night’ vaccine exercise

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With plans to make COVID-19 vaccination convenient and accessible for everyone, the Ministry of Health started its late-night vaccination exercise two weeks ago and already there has been an improvement in the number of persons taking the jabs.

The late-night vaccination exercise where persons can take their shots after work is only being done in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) but Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday announced plans to move the exercise to Region Six (Upper Corentyne-Berbice).

“So, late night vaccine is something we have started recently and we have been seeing more people coming out in the evenings to get their vaccination. So for the first week from August 28 – September 3, we have seen an increase of 1, 490 doses and in the second week we saw 1, 603 doses,” Dr Anthony said during his daily COVID update.

Dr Anthony further said: “Because we are seeing a positive uptake in the later hours, we are going to extend this programme from Region Four to Region Six to see if they have same results.”

Overall, 87 percent of the adult population has received the first dose COVID vaccine while 67.5 per have received the second jab.

In the 12 to 17 age group, 48.9 per cent received the first dose and 35.9 per cent received the second dose.

For children aged 5 to 11, 8, 125 or 8 per cent took their first dose and of that amount only doses 3, 841 or 3.8 per cent returned for the second dose. However, Dr Anthony said since schools across the country reopened on September 5, there has been a 7.6 per cent increase in vaccination for the 5 to 11 group.

Booster doses are now at 73, 375 doses and represent 12.5 per cent of persons eligible for a booster shot.

With the fast-approaching Cricket Carnival, Dr Anthony is urging everyone but particularly persons attending the events to get boosted.

“I think a large group of our population would have received a first or second dose so the thing now is to get boosted.

“If you are going to go into crowded places, chances are you might be sitting next to someone who might be infected and you wouldn’t know so it is better for you to ensure you are boosted,” Dr Anthony said and reminded that wearing of mask is also an added layer of protection against the virus.

In terms of monkeypox persons who have rashes on their skin should check with health authorities and be tested for the virus.

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