$619M approved to purchase more COVID-19 vaccines

Guyana is expected to procure several thousand doses more COVID-19 vaccines after some $619,292,862 was approved by the Committee of Supply on Monday evening in the National Assembly.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony says the vaccines are necessary to inoculate the adult population against the deadly disease.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony enters the Arthur Chung Conference Centre for the 29th sitting of the National Assembly, to defend his Ministry’s request of $619 million for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

“We are also procuring vaccines through the CARICOM-African Union mechanism and we have allocated $341 million under this heading to be able to procure those vaccines.

We’ve also allocated approximately $278 million to buy an additional 58,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccines,” Dr. Anthony said.

Some 148,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being procured through the CARICOM-African Union partnership.

Earlier on Monday evening, Minister Anthony gave assurances that although enough vaccines were acquired to ensure inoculation, it was only due to the Government’s efforts. He noted that the Government actively sought to secure the vaccines through various mechanisms, which has enabled over 44 per cent of Guyana’s adult population to receive their first dose of a vaccine.

He explained that had the Government depended solely on the COVAX mechanism, only 10 per cent of the country’s adult population would have been vaccinated.

The procurement of the additional vaccines will boost the Ministry of Health’s immunisation campaign. The campaign which began in March has seen more than 220,997 persons receiving their first dose of a Covid vaccine, while 87,919 persons have been fully vaccinated.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.