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…but Edu Ministry, GTU hopeful teachers will take the jab
While it is not and will not be mandatory for teachers to be vaccinated, the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) are hopeful that the nation’s education will take the COVID-19 jab.
In a joint statement on Friday, the Education Ministry and the Teachers’ Union said they will embark on a sensitization campaign to better inform teachers about the COVID-19 vaccines with the hope that they will be receptive.
“The choice as to whether a teacher is vaccinated will, however, remain with each individual teacher,” the joint statement read.
Earlier this month, 20,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine aarrived in Guyana from China to aid COVID-19 immunisation programme aimed at developing herd immunity.
The Sinopharm vaccine has shown a 79.4 per cent effective rate in some clinical trials while in others, the rate is higher. According to the Health Ministry it is “a very effective vaccine” and compares favourably to the other Covid vaccines on the market such as the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Additionally, Guyana received 80,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – COVISHIELD from the Government of India. COVISHIELD was produced in India. Initially the country has received 3,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Barbados.
To date, more than 1,300 persons including President Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Mark Phillips and a number of frontline health workers have been vaccinated.
In anticipation of a countrywide roll out, the Education Ministry will be issuing letters to teachers so as to allow them to have easier access to the vaccines.
“In pursuance of an agreement between the GTU and the MOE, and to become ready to access the vaccine, the MOE will issue letters to each teacher so as to make them easily identifiable to health personnel,” the joint statement read.
The Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers’ Union said they stand committed to their duty to ensure teachers are safe, particularly during the ongoing pandemic.