Persons with underlying health conditions not exempted from taking COVID-19 vaccine

─ Region Four RHO urges them to seek medical advice

Persons with pre-existing health conditions are not fully exempted from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, as this may provide a layer of necessary protection against the deadly disease, which has claimed the lives of hundreds locally and millions worldwide. 

Regional Health Officer (RHO) of Region Four, Dr. Gavinash Persaud made this statement during a recent meeting with East Coast Demerara residents.

Region Four Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Gavinash Persaud

“If you have a condition that suppresses your immune system like persons who have blood condition such as leukaemia or even cancer where they are on particular treatments that affects your resistance, then you would be granted an exemption.

“But most  persons think that because they have diabetes, high blood pressure they should not get the vaccine, but it is not a reason for you to be exempted from getting vaccinated.”

The doctor explained that individuals with some pre-existing conditions are exempted from taking the vaccine, but this can only be determined by a certified medical professional.

He highlighted the need for persons to be responsible in this regard and seek the necessary medical advice.

“Most of the persons who are at the hospital and dying from this disease are those who have diabetes or high blood pressure and they need to come out and get vaccinated,” he said.

The RHO urged residents to work with the region’s health department to educate and encourage others to do what is in their best interest.

Dr. Persaud also provided an update on the Ministry of Health’s  COVID-19 surveillance programme, which he noted, is not yielding the results envisioned, due to the lack of human resources.

Through this programme, those persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 are monitored by healthcare professionals, in the comfort of their homes, as opposed to institutional care, for 14 days.

Dr. Persaud highlighted some other challenges being encountered by healthcare workders.  “They are verbally abused and sometimes when they (persons with Covid) recognise our number then they don’t answer and in that way, we cannot completely manage them.”

To this end, the RHO reiterated that, “everyone must understand how serious this is, the consequence that it has, and the implications for us at a community level and by extension, the country about what we need to do.”

He also urged the residents to make contact with the relevant authorities and report those who disregard the safety measures outlined by the Health Ministry.

This, the RHO noted, will help to complement the Government’s efforts to safeguard the population whilst pushing to achieve herd immunity.  

As of September 26, the Ministry has recorded 241 new COVID-19 cases.