FILE PHOTO: Reverend Massiah
From his pulpit on Sunday, April 25, 2021, popular and respected man of the cloth Reverend Murtland Raphael Massiah, used this platform to urge his congregation and by extension the rest of the population to strongly ‘consider’ taking the coronavirus vaccines which are available to them. Massiah is the Senior Pastor of First Assembly of God Church located in Worthmanville.
Before getting into his usual Sunday message to his congregation, Massiah who himself has taken one of the coronavirus vaccines (AstraZeneca) said that he wanted to speak on the issue of covid-19 as a responsible leader.
“I will not hang you out to dry that is my style of leadership that is who I am, I will not put anyone at risk, knowingly send you into the fire and waiting to escape, no I will never to do that” Reverend Massiah told his congregation. “This responsibility that I have, I am not just sharing with you but the hundreds and thousands who are plugged into this ministry and who listen to us, I plead with you, I plead with all of you, not only those in this house, I plead with all of you…those of you watching, listening…consider taking the vaccines/” the reverend stated.
According to the Man of God, he has been across the country and more recently to Linden where he met with pastors who during a discussion, raised the issue of the coronavirus. It was at that point that Reverend Massiah became aware of what some of the myths surrounding the vaccine are, myths which he was able to now put into perspective, might be responsible for persons not wanting to take the vaccines.
“We presented on a wide range of topics and the question of Covid-19 came up and what we heard shocked us, shocked me… the positions that people have settled on as a result of what is clearly misinformation or the absence of information… what is hurting us a lot is the televisions that we consume, that is hurting us” the reverend noted
According to Mr. Massiah, most persons who are tuned into the news from abroad, especially the United States are only seeing updates on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and have arrived at the conclusion that the other vaccines that are coming to this part of the world including Guyana are not good or safe to use.
“You have assumed that because they are not using it in America it is not good, no…the Americans manufactured that (Pfizer and Moderna) and this country (Guyana) from the best of resources said that they approached them to purchase the vaccines that they are producing and they were told that those vaccines will not be available until 2022, could you imagine if we were to sit and wait on 2022? Some of us will have to lay and wait…permanently” the congregation was told.
The reverend continued…
“So they are other vaccines that are available in the word from the best information available, the Russian made sputnik 5 has an efficacy of 97 percent, the vaccine that I took the AstraZeneca has an efficacy of 82 or 84 percent something like that, the sinopharm vaccine has an efficacy of either 76 or 80 percent. The vaccines that are available, we are assured through virtual interaction with the Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Minister of Human Services. They have enough vaccines for the second jabs for those who took the first shots already” Massiah explained.
He stressed that the month of April has recorded the highest deaths in Guyana so far based on information coming to him. The reverend explained that not only has Covid been affecting seniors to the point of them dying, but also young people, evidence that whatever is out there (covid-19) is affecting the immune system.
Massiah pushed for the nation to work together in achieving herd immunity to the virus so that Guyana can return to normalcy.
“But before we reach there people want to go to restaurants and don’t wear masks, people want to live like what is normal, people want to return to behaviors that are very risky, people want to be together without adhering to the guidelines…. Those are risky behaviors… I want to commend the government for what they are doing, we must count ourselves privileged by the grace of God that there is a program of vaccination moving and being offered to our people” Reverend Massiah told the church on Sunday”
Myths associated with taking the vaccine as recalled by the Man of God include but are not limited to claims that the vaccine is a Ticking time bomb that will explode, It is the mark of the Beast, causes one to become paralyze, causes men to become impotent, will give you more bat disease, is programmed to kill you in 300 years, is to depopulate the country, computerizes the body, make mothers infected and reduce the IQ of the population.
Reverend Massiah said that already, Doctors who travel to remote parts of the country are having challenges having residents in those locations take the vaccine as misinformation and or lack of information has already had its toll in those communities.