“COVID-19 vaccines work”, get vaccinated and save lives

Dear Editor,
Vaccines save millions of lives around the world each year.
The more persons who are vaccinated, the slower COVID-19 and its variants would spread, saving lives. Wearing masks and practising social distancing help reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus, or of spreading it to others. Living in a neighbourhood where people are not vaccinated increases exposure to the virus and to its possibly mutating.
The Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, has released new data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, and is recommending all people, young and old, get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Guyanese, we cannot allow this virus to freely circulate, and not try to stop it. Sooner or later, there is a likelihood that we would get another variant that could – I’m not saying it would, but could – be more problematic than the Delta, which is now circulating.
The question is: Are the unvaccinated persons in Region #10 and around Guyana becoming architects of their own destruction?
COVID-19 remains as great a threat to human life as atrocities resulting from terrorism or war. The fact that, unlike leprosy, the disease is not obvious until it has ravaged its victims, only hides its lethal effects. All Region 10 leaders, including those of civil society and politicians who want power, should put the wellbeing of our people and our country’s safety first.
Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, has expressed concern about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Region #10, and has made a strong appeal to people to get vaccinated. We must all be truly concerned about what is happening in our region and country in general, with people being reluctant to get vaccinated and relaxing their adherence to public health measures.
So please! Please! Please take your vaccines, and please wear your masks properly and practise social distancing. We know that Lindeners and Guyanese like to be close-knitted, and we like fetes, and we like to congregate; but please avoid congregating. Observe respiratory etiquette, and wash your hands frequently.
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, because they are more at risk of contracting serious, prolonged illness. Studies indicate some immunocompromised people don’t always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do.
What we must all know is that the greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated persons, who are much more likely to contract, and therefore transmit, the virus. COVID-19 vaccines work; get vaccinated and save lives! There is enough evidence that COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of contracting the virus and experiencing its potentially severe complications. While COVID-19 vaccines are working well, some people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will still get sick, because no vaccine is 100% effective. These are called vaccine breakthrough cases.
Many COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to provide protection against severe illness and hospitalisation among persons of all ages who are eligible to receive them. Those include persons 65 years and older, who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
Our PPP/C Government’s #1 goal is to provide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines to all the unvaccinated population in Guyana, which is essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and saving lives in Guyana, so we can rebuild our economy and stop the threat of new variants. We must vaccinate our entire nation as quickly as possible, so we can put this pandemic behind us and focus on growing our economy.

David Adams