In an effort to reduce learning loss and facilitate a return to the classrooms, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has launched the Government’s COVID-19 immunisation campaign for children 12 to 17 years old.
Addressing parents, teachers and students, on Thursday at the St. Stanislaus College, Brickdam, Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, MP, said while the Government is committed to providing support for the safe reopening of schools, the vaccination of children is equally important.
“We’re no longer talking my friends, about getting past the virus to come into schools. We’re talking about getting past the virus so that you can live. That is where we’re at now.
“We’re not talking about mundane things like whether we can educate you and whether we can give you the opportunity to thrive in the beautiful new Guyana that is about to come here. We’re talking about children who continue to live. When you’re talking about positions like that everybody’s going to be required to be responsible and humane.”
Minister Manickchand urged persons to ignore the misinformation being peddled. She noted that with new variants of COVID-19 circulating, it is imperative that persons are immunised.
“This is a time in Guyana and indeed this is a time in the world when what is required of each of us as individuals, of each of our family units, of each of our communities, our country as a whole would be for us to be the very best, we are capable of being. We cannot afford this time when there is an existential threat hanging over our heads, with new variants coming to our shores and attacking our people, to be hesitant about what positions to take…the science and the medicine is clear,” she said.
In brief remarks, US Chief of Mission, Mark Cullinane said the vaccines are the same as those being used in the United States and globally.
“Scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from the United States and the Region, have worked together to ensure the delivery of safe and effective vaccines and the fine people of the Ministry of Health, have been a superb partner in that regard. Please get vaccinated so we can beat this pandemic and move on to a productive, educated and healthy Guyana which is a priority for this country and my own.”
On Tuesday, Guyana received 146,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the United States Government for immunisation of the adolescent population here. The Pfizer vaccine donation is part of a larger donation of 5.5 million doses to CARICOM.
Ramon Cummings and Danah Shiwgobin both students of St. Stanislaus College are the first two adolescents to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Guyana.