Fact-check information on Covid vaccines before sharing on social media – Minister Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony is urging the public to desist from spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Anthony warned that this practice may deter people from getting vaccinated, and protecting themselves from the deadly disease.

While the overall response to the vaccination campaign has been positive, with 148, 178 persons receiving their first dose of the vaccine and 5,309 fully immunised, misinformation has posed a significant challenge.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

Minister Anthony urges the public to fact-check information they view on online platforms before sharing it among their social circles.

“If somebody sent it to you, see whether it makes sense. If it is fine, you can ask questions but if it’s not, then don’t share it and don’t add to the confusion.

If we all take that conscientious approach, I think we would make a difference,” he said, during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.

The Minister noted that the vaccination drive is aimed at achieving herd immunity so that the country can return to normalcy. 

Dr. Anthony also debunked the myth that the vaccines are not halal or kosher.  He said the COVID-19 vaccines being administered are free from animal by-products and are safe for immunisation.

“When you look at the composition of vaccines, it will have the biological component in terms of which vector is being used. It will have a gene relating, perhaps, to the COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The COVID-19 vaccine being administered

It would have a gene for that and it would have all the chemicals that you would add to it, so there’s nothing there that would be against any religion,” he explained.

Minister Anthony noted that similar concerns were raised in several Islamic countries about the contents of the vaccines. Those countries have since reviewed them, and have issued written statements sanctioning their use.

“In a lot of Muslim countries, they have authorised the use of these vaccines and so there is nothing here to prevent a person from using it. I’m very pleased that we have not had that problem here because a lot of a lot of Muslims have taken the vaccine and we have had good partnerships with CIOG, where they came out and assisted us in many communities to roll out the vaccine,” he said.

Since the start of the COVID-19 immunisation campaign, the Ministry has partnered with several organisations, including faith-based, non-governmental and private sector entities to ensure that persons can easily access the vaccines.

“We are working with a combination of organisations to be able to effectively roll out the vaccines to as many persons as possible…persons might feel more comfortable if we go into the community and be able to do those vaccinations.

So, we have a combination of things that are going on where we have fixed sites. And, in addition to those fixed sites, we also have these mobile sites where with other partners whether faith based or otherwise, have been able to go into the communities, in some cases we have gone to workplaces,” he said.

The Government of Guyana continues to explore avenues to ensure the population is protected against the disease. To date, Guyana has received more than 265,000 vaccines through various channels.

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COVID-19 Alert!

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.