District 10 Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr Gregory Harris says the administration has taken a more serious approach to ensure residents take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine being offered by the Government.
Concerns were raised about the resistance of some people in the region to taking the vaccine but Dr Harris said the administration is working to remedy this.
“We have intensified our sensitization program with more frequent targeting of the public through television and radio programs. This includes broadcasting various infomercials, highlighting the virus and its effects and even video footage from people who have already been vaccinated to encourage them, ”RHO told DPI recently.
He said the region will soon embark on a more robust sensitization program that will include face-to-face interaction with political parties, non-governmental organizations, religious groups and individuals who have already been vaccinated, to speak on the importance of the vaccine.
“Once we can get the support from those leaders and parties, I think we can move forward in getting the public to be a little more receptive to the vaccine,” said Dr. Harris.
Several communities like Aroaima, Canvas City, Central Mackenzie, Amelia Ward, Half Mile, Wisroc, Three Friends Mines, Blueberry Hill, Kwakwani, Christianburg, Retrieve, Block 22, One Mile, Kara Kara, Coomacka Mines, Wismar, and Silvertown, have be cited as ‘Covid hotspots’ in the region.
Dr Harris said the vaccination campaigns will also be shipped to communities along the Berbice River, starting Monday.
In the meantime, concerns have also been raised about the refusal of some health workers to be immunized. Dr Harris said discussions with frontline workers had revealed a number of “exciting factors,” which the administration will soon resolve. To date thirty seven healthcare workers have been vaccinated in the region.
The RHO said full support from health workers will also encourage residents to take their vaccine.
“When this [vaccination] the campaign started, we would have visited the various health facilities and hospitals to educate workers and even patients on the vaccine, and how it can partially prevent us from the virus. With this in mind, we will be holding a second wave of this [sensitisation]. At first we only had one site, but now we have six vaccination sites around the region, with a mobile unit going into fluvial communities so people can access the vaccine, ”said Dr. Harris.
District 10 had recorded about 766 positive Covid cases as of April 10, 2021.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony had recently stated that the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory. However, it is the job of the Government to be able to provide the vaccine and ensure that as many people as possible take the shots as the country seeks to ensure herd immunity against the disease.
To date, over 50,000 people across the country have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. On February 11, the Ministry of Health began its immunization campaign, having received its first batch of vaccines from Barbados.