Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony said that the Government’s decision to open up the Covid-19 vaccination programme to young adults is part of the push to achieve ‘herd immunity’.

Herd immunity refers to when a large portion of the population in a specific area becomes immune to a disease, reducing the possibility of the disease being spread.

During yesterday’s COVID-19 Update Minister Anthony said they were receiving calls to lower the age from which people were able to access the vaccines, and now was an appropriate time to do so.

The Minister said “all the vaccines that we currently have in Guyana are being used in the adult population and if we are really and truly going to achieve herd immunity, it means that we have to get most of our adult population being immunized, in an effort to do so, that’s why we have lowered the age.”

Minister Anthony noted that infection in young adults has always been high, but most have been asymptomatic and did not require hospitalization.

“The 20 to 25 years, we have had in excess of 1500 infections, the 25 to 30 age group, we would have had more than 1600 infections, and the 30 to 35 age group, again, that would have been probably about 1200 infections. So, when you look across the age spectrum, you would have seen a lot of infections in the younger group from 20 to say 35.”

The Health Minister stated the data shows that young adults are more active in the country. However, more young people are having moderate to severe forms of COVID-19 in recent times.

“Our challenge over the last couple of weeks, is that we have seen a few cases where younger people are coming into the hospital. And that we’ve start analyzing those cases. We have also seen relatively young persons, meaning probably between 40 and so forth, who would have had some amount of comorbidities, but they have come down to the hospital, had a more severe form of Covid, and then die from Covid. So, this is a worrying trend.”

Minister Anthony is urging everyone 18 years and older to take the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure they do not contract a severe form of the disease which could lead to death.

Government started the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in mid-February, with priority given to healthcare workers, persons 60 years and above, and those with underlying conditions.

As more vaccines became available, the age was reduced to 40 years and now 18 years.

By admin