Region 10 to intensify sensitisation campaign to increase Covid vaccination

Regional Health Officer (RHO) of Region 10, Dr. Gregory Harris says the administration has taken on a more serious approach to ensure residents take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccination being offered by the Government.

Concerns have been raised over the resistance of some persons in the region to take the vaccine. Dr. Harris said the administration is working to remedy this.

“We have intensified our sensitisation programme targeting the public more frequently through television and radio programmes. This includes the broadcast of various infomercials, highlighting the virus and its effects and even video pieces from persons who have already got vaccinated to encourage them,”the RHO told DPI recently.

He said the region will soon embark on a more robust sensitisation programme that will feature face-to-face interactions with political parties, non-governmental organisations, religious groups and persons who have already been vaccinated, to speak on the importance of the vaccine.

“Once we can get the support from those leaders and parties, I think that we can go forward in terms of getting the general public to be a bit more receptive to the vaccine,” Dr. Harris said.

Region Ten Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr. Gregory Harris

Several communities such as Aroaima, Canvas City, Central Mackenzie, Amelia’s Ward, Half Mile, Wisroc, Three Friends Mines, Blueberry Hill, Kwakwani, Christianburg, Retrieve, Block 22, One Mile, Kara Kara, Coomacka Mines, Wismar, and Silvertown, have been cited as ‘Covid hotspots’ in the region.

Dr. Harris said vaccination campaigns will also be taken to communities along the Berbice River, starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, concerns have also been raised over the refusal of some health workers to be immunised. Dr. Harris said discussions with the frontline workers have revealed a number of “upsetting factors,” which the administration will soon resolve. Thirty-seven healthcare workers have so far been vaccinated in the region.

The RHO said full support from health workers will encourage residents to also take their vaccine.

“When this [vaccination] campaign began, we would have visited the various health facilities and hospitals to educate workers and even patients on the vaccine, and how it can prevent us in some degree from the virus. With this in mind, we will conduct a second wave of this [sensitisation].

At the beginning, we only had one site, but now we have six vaccination sites around the region, with a mobile unit going into riverine communities so that persons can get access to the vaccine,” Dr. Harris said.

Region 10 had recorded some 766 positive Covid cases as of April 10.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony had noted recently that the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory. However, it is Government’s job to be able to provide the vaccine and ensure as many people as possible take the shots as the country tries to achieve herd immunity against the disease.

So far, over 60,000 persons across the country have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. On February 11, the Health Ministry began its immunisation campaign, after receiving its first batch of vaccines from Barbados.