Guyana considering COVID-19 vaccine passport

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says Guyana is still considering implementing a COVID-19 travel certificate, as the country continues to work towards curbing transmission of the deadly disease here.

During his daily COVID-19 update Friday, Dr. Anthony said while countries around the world have implemented the system, the World Health Organization has not taken a strong position on implementation due to vaccine hesitancy.

“Many countries still don’t have access to vaccines and if you make that compulsory, and there aren’t enough vaccines, it can be problematic.

For those countries who have vaccines, they’re starting to put measures in place such as this travel certificate,” he said.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony

As more persons receive their COVID-19 vaccines, Minister Anthony said the Government would have to consider the option moving forward.

“Some of these types of considerations you have to take on board especially if countries to which the airlines here fly to, would be asking for such travel documents.

So, if that becomes a requirement, then we probably will have to follow suit, but the way things are going, it looks like a lot of countries are going to be implementing this vaccine passport or travel certificate, but there’s still that discussion that is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Minister Anthony noted that investigations are ongoing into the alleged forgery of a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. On Thursday, police arrested a woman who allegedly forged a COVID-19 vaccination card to travel overseas. The Minister noted that there are serious consequences for falsifying documents.

“We are going to take very stringent, serious actions against persons who try to forge these certificates because it’s a really serious matter.

If you’re not vaccinated, and you then tender some document to pretend that you have been vaccinated, you should face the full brunt of the law because you’re putting yourself at risk and you’re putting others at risk.”

He said the Ministry will be “on the lookout” for any recurrence of such incidents as it risks putting the entire COVID-19 vaccination campaign into disrepute.

To date, 216,862 persons have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 83,729 persons are fully immunised. Regions Six and One continue to lead the vaccination campaign with 52.4 per cent and 52.3 per cent respectively.

This is followed by Region Five at 48.2 per cent; Region Four at 45.8 per cent; Region Three at 44.5 per cent; Region Seven at 43.9 per cent; Region Two at 41.7 per cent and Region Nine at 42.1 per cent. Regions Eight and Ten continue to record low numbers of vaccination at 28.4 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively. Minister Anthony says vaccine education campaigns are ongoing in those areas to provide relevant information to the public so that they can make informed decisions about vaccination.

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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.