Simple wisdom dictates that we get vaccinated

Dear Editor,
Hard times are all over the world, and here in Guyana, it seems as though Guyanese are still quite unwilling to cooperate with people and measures set out to alleviate worsening situations.
I speak here in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I feel certain that even though Guyana has fared fairly well thus far, things could have been better. So let me make a few very telling comments, and hopefully, some better responses will be evoked from all of us.
First, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “In countries with the greatest access to vaccines, we are seeing a decline in mortality among older age groups. In these countries, the public health and social measures that have helped to protect people are being eased, but they must be eased cautiously, and adjusted in line with viral circulation and response capacities.”
Now, this kind of correlation of the downward trend of infection and deaths with accessibility to the vaccines is indeed great news. It means that Guyana, if the cards are played right, can enter into a recovery mode very early.
Secondly, the idea that a lockdown would help Guyana is very foolhardy in nature, and is mythical. In fact, it is the opposite. Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr. Zulfikar Bux explained that, “Based on evidence gathered since the onset of COVID-19, a lockdown to help combat the disease could potentially cause more harm than good.”
Why? Well, I ask that all read the following.
“Citing a 2021 systemic review of studies on COVID-19 spread, Dr Bux noted that it was deduced that a low proportion (less than 10 percent) of global infections occurred outdoors, and higher odds (18.7 percent times) compared to outdoors’ transmission. In fact, he noted that experts are convinced that outdoor COVID-19 transmissions may be less than one percent – a state of affairs that was demonstrated in Ireland, where evidence showed only 0.1 percent of COVID-19 infections occurred outdoors.”
So, simply put, we have to respond to the vaccination drive, and in this regard, we have the input of the Government being most robust and futuristic.
In fact, Dr. Bux shared his belief that “vaccination will take us ahead of the pandemic.” Here, in Guyana, as it stands, we are indeed in a good position to ‘get ahead’ if only we hasten and get going with the vaccination programme being unrolled.
There is no excuse on behalf of the populace, as Guyana is poised to receive sufficient vaccines for its population before the year ends. Let us remember that “…countries with high vaccination rates have been able to get ahead of the pandemic and substantially reduce deaths and infections from COVID-19.”
In fact, as far back as May 2021, Guyana was able to position itself to get herd immunity, but the key challenge now is for people to come forward for inoculation.
Guyanese must save Guyanese, and Guyana by extension. The Government has done its part, it is time we do ours.

Yours truly,
Attiya Baksh