Health Ministry targeting areas with low vaccination coverage

In its commitment to ensuring widespread vaccination coverage, the Ministry of Health is targeting locations with low vaccination rates to establish herd immunity across the country.

Primarily the focus is on hinterland regions where the vaccination levels remain low.

During the latest episode of the ministry’s Health Matters Programme, Immunisation Manager for Maternal and Child Health Dr Oneka Scott, acknowledged the challenges in achieving herd immunity nationwide.

Immunisation Manager for Maternal and Child Health, Dr Oneka Scott while speaking on the Health Matters Programme

She emphasised the importance of vaccinating migrants, as unequal vaccination rates hinder the attainment of herd immunity, impacting the broader population.

“Guyana has quite a vast amount of territory, those that are explored and those that are unexplored. And so, during this period we seek those areas with very low coverage. Those areas that are remote and difficult to go to and maybe those that we have not gone to during the past few months,” Dr Scott stated.

This initiative forms part of the ministry’s re-evaluation of vaccination coverage to address individuals who have dropped out of the system or have never been enrolled.

“We are recognising now that our population is growing and people are living farther and farther away from the central sites, whether it is in the hinterland regions or those districts that are remotely far way from the hinterland regions,” the immunisation manager stressed.

To ensure equitable access to vaccination, the ministry conducts population mapping during rural outreach activities.

The goal is to achieve at least 95% vaccination coverage in each community.

Dr Scott outlined various methods to enhance vaccination uptake, including appointment bookings during outreach visits, home visits by healthcare teams, and targeted outreaches in strategic locations such as markets.

The Ministry of Health remains dedicated to promoting vaccination as a critical public health measure, striving to protect communities and achieve herd immunity against preventable diseases.