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Hundreds on Essequibo Coast receive COVID-19 vaccines

Essequibians appear to have adopted an accepting attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccines. During a vaccination exercise hosted yesterday, Sunday, morning more than one hundred persons were vaccinated.

Sunday’s outreach was a collaborative effort between the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, and the Ministry of Health. The outreach, which was hosted at the Anna Regina Mandir Compound, catered for persons age forty and above.

The exercise commenced sometime around 08:30 hrs. yesterday. Based on information reaching the Big Smith News Watch, almost one hundred persons were already in line for vaccination, at the time of commencement.

Seventy-one-year-old Jesadai Motilall, told this publication that initially she was scared, but finally mustered up the courage to take the vaccine yesterday. Motilall, who is from the village of Devonshire Castle, went on to say, “I was a bit scared before I took the vaccine, like when they first start vaccinating people about a month back I feel to myself that I must wait a little and watch on. Eventually I got the courage to take it because the cases rising and the virus get more severe.”

When asked if she will encourage others to take the vaccine, she said, “so far I didn’t get any side effects, so I will be encouraging other persons to take the vaccine because it is better for them to be safe than sorry.”

The Regional Health Officer of Region Two, Dr. Ranjiv Singh, told this publication that the Health Department’s goal is to vaccine at least five hundred persons per day. Singh confirmed that there has been significant increase in the acceptance rate for the vaccines.

“Initially our turn out was low, I will not comment on the amount because I do not have an exact amount, but presently we are getting 300 to 400 persons per day, and we are hoping that in the coming days we can increase to 500 persons per day.” said Singh.

The RHO said that there were a number of factors, which contributed to the drastic increase. He pointed out that increased public relations was a key factor. “We have been doing our ground work, as it relates to promoting the vaccines. We share information as much as possible via radio Programme, road announcement, we have been meeting out to the NDCs, religious leaders, political leaders and prominent business people.”

When asked if reports of the new variant somehow ignited the sudden increase, Ranjiv replied, saying, “I think yes, persons are more concerned because now we are hearing about this new variant, persons are seeing on the news what is happening in Brazil and in a way it is creating that sense of urgency for persons out there.”