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The Indo-Caribbean Society (ICS) is an organization that strives to promote friendship and unity between the Indian and Caribbean communities. In collaboration with Texila American University, the Indo-Caribbean Society (ICS) conducted a webinar on “COVID-19 Vaccination” with presenters from Guyana and Suriname’s Ministry of Health.
The webinar speakers included Dr. Dheeraj Bansal, dean of the College of Medicine, Texila American University; Dr. Leslie Ramasamy, Advisor to the Ministry of Health and former Minister of Health and Agriculture, Guyana and Dr. Naomi Chan-Emanuelson and Dr. Soeradj Harkisoen representing the Ministry of Health, Suriname.
Dr. Dheeraj Bansal explained in detail the SARS COV2 virus and how it affects people. He also explained how there are various vaccine types and how the efficacy varies with people of different ethnicities. He mentioned how not everyone infected would suffer from the severe form of COVID-19 as it depends on various factors like comorbidity, immunity, viral load, and more. The COVID-19 vaccination doses and different vaccines, protein-based and genetic-material-based, were discussed by him.
Succeeding Dr. Bansal, Dr. Naomi Chan-Emanuelson and Dr. Soeradj Harkisoen took over the webinar. They are the representatives from the Ministry of Health, Suriname. They detailed how Suriname is dealing with COVID-19 and planned to vaccinate its citizens in phases. Suriname’s vaccination plan starts with its frontline health care workers and moves on to other levels.
On the question of how vaccination criteria are fixed in Suriname, they answered that it is fixed based on the supply of vaccine, risk of infection, mortality rate, and more. They also mentioned how procuring vaccines and training the necessary staff to carry out the procedure has been challenging. They revealed how the government uses an insightful method to fight against misinformation and prejudice against the vaccine.
Dr. Leslie Ramasamy talked about the issues people and countries are facing regarding access to the COVID-19 vaccine. He noted that the number of people fully vaccinated in developed countries is higher than that in developing countries. He also spoke about the conventions surrounding equitable and fair access to technology, medicine, and vaccine. He stressed that equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to win against this pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccination has been a very challenging task for countries worldwide because of a list of reasons. Those reasons are discussed in detail in the webinar. To watch this insightful webinar conducted by the Indo-Caribbean Society in collaboration with Texila American University on the delicate topic of COVID-19 vaccination, please click the button below.