Underscoring the importance of the country achieving herd immunity, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has lamented that persons between the ages of 18 to 39 are not returning for their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Health Minister had previously expressed concerns that persons have only taken a first jab of the vaccine in order to gain access to public buildings as per the then Covid-19 countrywide guidelines.
However, Dr Anthony had contended that one dose is not enough to provide adequate protection from the life-threatening virus.
The national Covid-19 measures have since been updated to mandate that only persons who are fully vaccinated are allowed entry into certain places like supermarkets and banks.
Additionally, only persons who are fully vaccinated will be allowed entry into the country, including returning Guyanese. While there is currently an exemption period, this will conclude by November month-end.
Speaking generally on the national uptake of the vaccine, the Health Minister contended that more needs to be done.
“For the age category 12 to 17, first dose is relatively low, it’s just 39%, so, we have to address this and get these numbers up,” he contended. “For the 12 to 17 age group, they’re at 26.9% (in terms of second dose), we really need to move that number higher up.”
Dr Anthony continued, “the 18 to 39 (age group is) at 43.7% (for second dose)…we need more people to come and get their second dose…a lot of those persons have taken their first dose, but they’re not coming back to get their second dose.” Regarding first dose for this category, that percentage stands at 72.5%.
To date, 392,512 adults have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine which represents 76.5% of that population while 263,455 or 54.1% have received a second dose.
Meanwhile, for children age 12 to 17, a total 28,433 or 39% have received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine while 19,624 or 26.9% of that age cohort have received both doses.