Uptick in Region Three’s Covid-19 vaccination drive

Government’s immunisation campaign in the Essequibo Islands -West Demerara (Region Three) is improving, as efforts continue to prevent the spread of the respiratory illness, Covid-19.

Speaking with DPI recently, Region Three Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Erica Forte said the region continues to fight against the deadly disease by advocating the need for vaccination.

Region Three Regional Health Officer, Dr. Erica Forte

“Region Three is doing exceedingly well in our vaccination campaign, but I would like to encourage persons, who have not taken their vaccines yet or are still pending a second dose or maybe booster dose to come out and get your vaccines,” Dr. Forte urged.

Since confirming the country’s first Covid case in March 2020, several mechanisms were put in place countrywide to contain the disease. Citizens saw the retrofitting of the National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal to care for patients with severe forms of the disease.  Testing sites at various entry points were also established. 

Similar structures were also constructed in Region Three, including the establishment of a 50-bed Covid unit worth close to $50 million.

According to Forte, the measures sought to address the large influx of persons to the region. Last year, the region, along with Regions Two, Four, Six, Seven and Ten, were identified as hotspots and required immediate assistance.  

“What we tried to do was not to depend on Region Four as our main referral region. So, we would have constructed a-50 bed unit specifically for Covid, this unit is not only for regular inpatient, but it also caters for ICU patients and so we would have tried really hard in 2021 to ensure that there is proper coverage for Covid in the region,” she explained.

As of March 5, 50,237, or 45 percent of the region’s population were fully vaccinated, while 65,439 or 58.7 per cent of the population received their first dose of a Covid vaccine.

Of this figure, 46, 565 or 62.9 percent of those 18 years and older residing in the region have been fully vaccinated. As it relates to the 12 to 17 years age category, 59.4 percent of the region’s youths are fully protected against the disease.

This year, $6.8 billion of the $73.2 billion allocated to the Ministry of Health will be used to further government’s effort to mitigate the pandemic in Guyana.

An additional 260,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be procured to ensure the vaccination of persons who have not yet received their jabs, as well as booster shots for those with two shots.