Mon | May 16, 2022

Guyana considering mandatory booster shots for travellers

Published:Wednesday | January 26, 2022 | 11:15 AM
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said COVID-19 booster shots may soon become a requirement as the health authorities continue to grapple with a rising number of cases. -Contributed photo.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana government is considering making mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) booster shots for travellers entering and leaving the country.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said COVID-19 booster shots may soon become a requirement as the health authorities continue to grapple with a rising number of cases.

“In the near future, as we start getting more persons to take the booster doses, that is something that will be under consideration to perhaps look at booster doses as well,” Anthony said, reiterating that the current travel requirements are the reason for a low number of imported cases in the country.

“Right now, the same basic two things; one vaccination, and a test to show your COVID-19 status, whether through a PCR or antigen…

“We have been monitoring, but we're not getting a lot of cases because if people abide by the requirements, then if they test positive, they can't travel and therefore we were able to eliminate people with COVID coming into Guyana, so I think the measures that we have in place have been working,” Anthony said.

Guyana has so far recorded 1, 148 deaths and 57, 772 infections linked to the virus since March 2020 and Anthony said that with 133 patients now hospitalised across the country, he is urging people  to get inoculated as well as to take the booster doses, as most admitted patients are unvaccinated with some form of comorbidity.

As of Tuesday, 421,131 or 82.1 percent of the country's adult population took the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 309,160 or 60.3 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

In terms of the 12 to 17 age cohort, Anthony said this group remains the lowest in their vaccination numbers with 32,309 people taking the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 22, 688 taking both doses.

Another 35, 014 people took their booster dose.

Anthony is again urging parents to get their children vaccinated, especially if they are attending school.

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