67.2 per cent adults fully vaccinated against COVID

Approximately 67.2 per cent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated against the devastating COVID-19 virus, as the Ministry of Health advances efforts to ensure Guyana reaches herd immunity.

An adult being vaccinated against COVID-19

According to statistics, this means that about 344, 596 Guyanese adults received the full jab, since the roll out of the massive vaccination campaign.

Records show too that 444, 950 adults or 86.7 per cent of the adult population have received their first dose.

During the COVID-19 update on Thursday, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said 35, 373 or 48.5 per cent of Guyanese between the ages 12 to 17 took their first jab, while 25, 876 or 35.5 per cent of the age cohort is fully vaccinated.

Moreover, a total of 6,325 or 6.2 per cent of children ages five to 11, got the first dose of the covid 19 vaccine and 1,529 doses of the second jab were distributed to the same age cohort.

Although the five-to 11-year-old vaccine drive was recently rolled out by government, Minister Anthony reiterated the need for improved partnership with parents.

An adult being vaccinated against COVID-19

He emphasised that the approach will ensure more children are protected.

“…even while we are rolling this out, remember we waited a long time to be able to access these types of vaccines [for children] between five and 11, so now that we have the vaccines, it’s important that we get parents to bring their children to be vaccinated. You don’t want your child to go back to school and be vulnerable to an infection,” Dr. Anthony urged.

He stressed that there is a need to advance the 70,000 booster shots which have been administered to date.

Meanwhile, the health minister reiterated that there are different strains of the Omicron virus that is circulating. With omicron there are five various subvariants; BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5.

Dr. Anthony said the ministry has discovered that a number of people who might have endured the devastating virus before are being reinfected.

“In January, we would have seen more BA1 and BA2 kind of presentation, and now what we are seeing is a BA5 presentation. What has happened is that even if you were infected with BA1 or BA2 previous, you can get reinfected with BA5. We are seeing people who probably would have had COVID before, whether with omicron, or with some other variant that they are getting reinfected”, he opined.

He said there are cases where senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, as well as those unvaccinated, are the ones currently being hospitalised.

Comorbidities, Dr. Anthony referenced, describe someone who bears more than one disease or condition within their body at the same time.

Minister Anthony pointed out that in order for anyone to keep up to date with protection against the fatal virus, they should take a booster shot every six months.

“Booster doses are available. Unfortunately, a lot of people who remain vulnerable to Covid who can end up with a severe form of covid, because of the risk factor that they have… many of them have not come back for their booster doses,” Dr. Anthony stated.

Those persons could eventually become hospitalised or in some instances die, if they are reinfected, Minister Anthony stated.

The ministry has administered approximately 405 doses of vaccines within the last 24 hours.

Additionally, there have been 62 new cases, while 641 active cases are being tracked. No deaths were recorded during the period.

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