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COVID numbers might look artificially low with low testing numbers - Health Minister

Schools' re-opening could see improved vaccination numbers.

Reduced testing and vaccine hesitancy continue to be issues of concern for the Ministry of Health. However, despite this Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is urging Guyanese to remain cautious.

While vaccine hesitancy among all age groups continues to be a front-burner concern for the Ministry of Health, Minister, Dr Frank Anthony remains hopeful that the reopening of schools next week, would at least mean an improvement in vaccinations numbers among adolescents.

The plan to improve these numbers he says is a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Education and included, vaccination permission slips being sent home before the close of the last school term.

“We’re hoping that this is something we can do jointly this week (…) hopefully when school resumes we would be able to get those permission slips so that we can organise the vaccination within the schools.”

At present, vaccination numbers among adolescents stand at 34,416 (47.2 per cent) for first doses and 27,166 (34.5) for second doses.

For the general population, the daily vaccine rate has dropped to between 100 and 200 vaccines and over the Easter holiday, there were no vaccinations. To counter this response the Health Ministry has embarked on several vaccine hesitancy training exercises with healthcare workers and other stakeholders in the various administrative regions.

These exercises have been deemed successful by Dr Anthony.

Meanwhile, the Ministry's data shows there are 103 positive cases of COVID 19, of this number 10 persons were in the past 24 hours.

However, Dr Anthony believes this number may be artificially low as persons are not coming forward to be tested.

To this end, he is urging Guyanese to remain cautious as there have been spikes in cases in other countries in the region. “While most of the cases are not severe, they are still cases so we have to be careful.”

On Tuesday, vaccination among Guyana’s adult population stood at 439,205 (85.6 per cent) for the first dose and 338,303 (66 per cent) for the second dose.


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