Senior citizens turn out at COVID-19 vaccination drive on Essequibo Coast

—urge others to get vaccine to save lives, return to normalcy

Senior citizens on the Essequibo Coast turned out in large numbers at the Suddie and Charity hospitals to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health set its vaccination drive into motion in many parts of the country, with residents 60 years and older being the target for inoculation.

Mr. Lalman Ramjit receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Speaking with DPI at the Suddie Hospital in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), retired teacher and pensioner, Ms. Donna Ragnauth said while all vaccines may result in discomfort due to short-term pain from needles, being vaccinated is important.

“I’m glad that I took it because of the COVID pandemic. Everybody wants it to go. So, I’m very happy that I took it,” she said.

The former teacher said she seized the opportunity to take the vaccine after learning of its availability.

Ms. Raimoon Namkissoon after receiving her COVID-19 jab

“I want to move about. I want life to come back as normal. I want to travel, so that is most important why I took it.”

While admitting that she had had some doubts before deciding to take the vaccine, Ms. Ragnauth said other persons should follow suit and protect themselves.

“I was, at first, very sceptical, but I would advise them to come and take it. This is the only way out. If you want a better life and want to feel better and not to infect others, come and get it.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Lalman Ramjit, a rice farmer from Anna Regina said he has witnessed the devastating effects of the pandemic and thought it necessary to get vaccinated.

“I was so scared of this and I always tell myself that if anything come about for this sick, I would go and try my best to be in the frontline to take it.”

Resident, Mr. Namkishur

The farmer also said he would encourage others to take the vaccine because the fears of the pandemic would eventually subside once everyone is vaccinated.

He said citizens must also follow the COVID-19 guidelines and practice masking at all times.

Over at Charity Hospital, Ms. Raimoon Namkissoon who operates a small grocery, said getting vaccinated was a pleasant experience.

“I thought it was worse than this, but it went on so good. I saw the needle and I was afraid, but it’s okay.”

Ms. Ramkissoon credits her family abroad for motivating her to get the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Mr. Namkishur (only name given), a retired public servant who was also among those inoculated at Charity Hospital, lauded the PPP/C Administration’s efforts to roll out the much-needed vaccine.

Vaccination cards being prepared for the exercise

“We must thank the Government tremendously for everything… We enjoy it. We accept it,” he said.  The retiree maintained that any help against COVID-19 should be welcomed.

Guyana has received donations of vaccines from the Governments of Barbados (3,000), China (20,000) and India (80,000). Through the COVAX mechanism, the Government expects to receive 104,000 doses of vaccines, and another 149,000 through a purchase agreement under a CARICOM-African Union pact.

The vaccination drive continues from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm.