CHWs targeted in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy workshop

With approximately 84.2 percent of the adult population having taken the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 63.9 percent fully vaccinated, there are still many persons hesitant to take the jab because of misinformation.

As the Ministry of Health seeks to address this issue, a number of Community Health Workers (CHWs) are participating in a three-day workshop to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, especially in the remote communities.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P.

At the event held at the Regency Suites, Georgetown, on Monday, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said it is important for citizens to understand that vaccines can protect against the severe form of the virus and even prevent deaths.

“It is a very important thing for us to get people to understand this very, very basic concept that with vaccination it is going to help to protect you and, in many instances, if you’re older and you have comorbidities it can actually save your life,” he said. 

He said, Guyana has faced many challenges in the roll-out of its robust vaccination campaigns. These challenges include vaccine storage, adequate PPEs for health workers, space to carry out vaccination and even the procurement of vaccines, among others.

Also, Dr. Anthony said the workshop will help CHWs interact with community and religious leaders, and other influential persons in the communities, about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Minister Anthony, Ambassador Lynch, Community Health Workers and other officials at the workshop.

He is again urging more persons to get vaccinated. There are approximately 80, 959 people still to take the first dose vaccine with about 185, 208 people eligible for a second dose, still to take the jab.

“A lot of our successes came because we have very good partners who really stepped up and assisted us in many ways.

So, when we celebrate this success that we’ve achieved here in Guyana of having relatively high vaccination rates in some communities, it is because of not just our local partners who have worked very hard, but our international partners as well,” Minister Anthony said.

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency, Sarah Ann-Lynch said the US Government will continue to support Guyana’s vaccination programme.

“The US Government has been and will continue to be a resolute partner to the Government and the people of Guyana in their COVID-19 response…

United States Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency, Sarah Ann-Lynch

In partnership with the ministry of health and working through USAID and UNICEF, we are accelerating efforts to address this new phase of the pandemic ‘addressing vaccines hesitancy’,” she said.

The ambassador also said this initiative will contribute to Guyana’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and help to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy.

Also attending the opening of the workshop was UNICEF’s Representative of Guyana and Suriname, Nicolas Pron and Director of Primary Health Care Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.