Staff at GPHC, COVID-19 ICU receive first doses of COVISHIELD
-as immunisation campaign rolls out
The first set of frontline healthcare workers from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at Liliendaal, today received their first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, COVISHIELD.
These vaccines are from the 3,000 doses Guyana received from Barbados on Wednesday.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony said the historic moment “marks the beginning of the turnaround of this pandemic.”
“Our reason, why we are starting here at GPHC, which has been the epicentre of this fight, they have been the ones where the most severe patients have been coming here … Therefore, we thought it fit that the staff here should be the first ones that we start with.”
The immunisation process would be rolled out at other regional hospitals soon.
Minister Anthony said he is confident that more persons will be vaccinated once the process ramps up.
While addressing frontline workers at the Liliendaal facility, Dr. Anthony commended their hard work and reiterated the Government’s commitment to their safety.
“We want to ensure that every single health worker, once they are willing to receive the vaccine, there’s a vaccine there for them because we recognise the work that you have done over the last year, the efforts, the courageousness you’ve demonstrated in and out of this, on a daily basis, and we want you to receive these vaccines so that you can protect yourself because you are among the people with the highest risk.”
The Ministry plans to vaccinate all healthcare workers across the country over the next few months.
“We are starting today, but by the end of the month and going into March our hope is that every single health worker will be able to get vaccinated. So, by then, we would have enough dosage of vaccines to be able to provide for every healthcare worker. We have worked out a deployment plan for how we are going to roll out the vaccines and after the healthcare workers, we will go to persons who are older,” Minister Anthony said.
Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton, Director of Primary Health Care Services, said the group of health workers to receive the first doses are those who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
“Our end game in all of this is to ensure herd immunity and herd immunity requires at least 80 per cent of our population to be vaccinated,” she said.
GPHC Pharmacist, Ms. Brinnet Bernarai was the first person to received COVISHIELD. Other staff at the hospital who received their first doses of the vaccine today were Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier (ret’d) George Lewis, Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr. Fawcett Jeffery, Head of Cardiology, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, Head of Paediatrics, Surgery and Medicine, Dr. Marisa Seepersaud, Head of the Institute of Health Science Education, Dr. Alexandra Harvey and Head of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tracey Bovell.