Guyana's Health Minister Concerned About Drop in Vaccinations

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said Tuesday that there were “zero vaccinations” done over the long Easter weekend and appealed to Guyanese to get vaccinated against the coronavirus even as the country relaxes most of the measures that had been put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

HMfrankaHealth Minister Dr. Frank Anthony“Over the Easter holiday, we didn’t do much vaccination and that’s because people weren’t coming to any of our vaccination sites, so from Good Friday to now, we’ve had basically zero vaccination,” Dr Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update.

The Ministry of Health said a total of 439, 205 adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while a total of 338,303 have received their second dose.

It said regarding adolescents, 34,416 people between the ages of 12 and 17 received their first dose while 27,166 received their second dose.

“There is a lot more work to be done with this age group. Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing about 100 to 200 vaccinations per day and that includes both first and second does.

“So, that’s pretty low and these numbers have been stagnant for quite a while and I am hoping that with school reopening shortly, that more parents would give permission for their child to get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony told reporters.

He said that in an effort to boost its vaccination, the Health Ministry is in discussion with the Education Ministry to promote some school-based vaccination programs and that this program will result in the ministry sending vaccinators to schools but before this happens, parents first need to give the authorities permission for their children to get vaccinated.

There are currently 103 active COVID-19 cases across the country and Dr. Anthony said that while the figure is low compared to several months ago, it is because many people are not getting tested.

“Right now, persons are not coming forward to be tested so we’re not doing a lot of tests and therefore the numbers might look artificially low so we have to be careful,” Dr Anthony said.

“We have to be cautious because we know in other countries in the region, they’ve started to see a spike in cases. While most of the cases are not severe, they are still cases, so we have to be careful.”

In the last 24-hours, only 10 new cases were recorded and six persons are hospitalized and Dr. Anthony urge people to still be cautious.