27 per cent of the population vaccinated against Covid

– mass testing still ongoing

To date, more than 132,000 individuals have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine. Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony made this disclosure during today’s COVID-19 Update.

The Minister said more persons are taking the vaccine, which pushes the country closer to achieving herd immunity.

“As of yesterday, we did 132,739 persons who received their first dose of the vaccines. That would approximate to about 27 per cent of our adult population and we also have started giving people their second doses.

Those persons who received the Sinopharm vaccine are now up for their second dose. So, for those we have already completed about 3706 persons [fully vaccinated],” Minister Anthony said.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

Dr. Anthony said the Government will acquire enough vaccines to immunise the entire adult population against the disease. This is as the robust vaccination campaign continues countrywide.

He urged those who have been vaccinated to encourage others to get their jabs.

“We all must play a role in encouraging others to get the vaccine. We have been doing well so far 132,000 persons have received their first dose, this is good. Those persons can tell the others of their experience that they’ve had when they came for the vaccine because there are some people who are fearful of needles, a little bit scared to come.

So, we want those persons to share their experience because it’s really a seamless process and to encourage others to encourage their friends to come out and get the vaccine because this is important. We would not be able to exit the pandemic, without all of us getting the vaccine. I’ve taken mine; my family has taken the vaccine and so I encourage everyone to take it.

A citizen takes his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine

Minister Anthony also advised against taking the Covid test before being inoculated, especially if the individual has no symptoms or was not exposed to someone who has tested positive for the disease.

However, he noted if someone tests positive for Covid, the vaccine should not be administered at that point.

“You don’t need to go and get a COVID-19 test before the vaccine. However, if you have typical signs or symptoms of COVID-19 like a cough or fever, these flu-like types of symptoms, you have lost your taste or smell, then, those are typical signs of COVID. And we don’t want to give you a vaccine, if you are positive, we prefer you to recover from the disease before you are getting the vaccine.”

While heavy focus is being placed on inoculating the adult population against the disease, Minister Anthony said mass testing is still ongoing.

He noted that the consistency of testing has led to the Ministry detecting 142 new Covid cases over the past 24-hours.

Persons desirous of taking a test for COVID-19 can visit any of the regional hospitals.

Persons waiting to be vaccinated at the Ministry of Health

Minister Anthony said more testing sites have been established in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).

“In addition to the hospitals, we also have testing sites at Paradise and one at Herstelling and we have one in La Penitence. So, again people can go there and get tested…on the weekends these sites were not working. We have now opened them up so that if people need to get tested on the weekend they can do so,” Minister Anthony said.

So far, Government has received 265,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to protect persons from contracting the severe form of the disease. More vaccines are expected from the COVAX facility and Russia, the latter being bought by the Government.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging all individuals 18 years and older to take the vaccine and to follow the health guidelines.