Gov’t aiming to vaccinate 50,000 against Covid by April 11

– 13,000 already inoculated
– Health Advisor Dr. Ramsammy

The Government is targeting 50,000 persons ages 50 and older to be inoculated against COVID-19 by April 11.

Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy told senior citizens who turned out for their vaccines at the Canal Number Two Health Centre, West Bank Demerara that the vaccination exercise has been widespread. 

“We are trying that by the 11th of April, that we vaccinate at least 50,000 persons 50 and older. And I know that number is so large, but we are quite capable of doing that,” he said.

A significant number of people have been vaccinated, with 60 per cent of them being persons 60 years and older.

“We have now vaccinated close to 13,000 people, and we could have done more, but a lot of people who come you’re sending them back because we want to focus on the 60 and above. That is anyone who is 60 this year, even if their birthday hasn’t come yet. We are doing them and when couples come, if one of them is 60 and the other is not yet 60 we still do the couple,” he explained.

Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy interacts with senior citizens

This week’s target is to vaccinate 10,000 persons. Dr. Ramsammy said from Sunday March 14 to Wednesday March 17, over 7,000 persons have been inoculated countrywide and Ministry expects to reach its target by Saturday. From next week the campaign will be open to individuals aged 50 and above.

Dr Ramsammy also acknowledged that while there are disparities in access to vaccines between rich and poor countries, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has taken robust steps to secure vaccines for Guyana.

“We are going to make sure that enough vaccines arrive in the country so we don’t stop, so that we can continue, and even accelerate the pace. The President has said that he will do everything in his power, that money is not a problem that we will find the money to buy vaccines for everyone to be vaccinated this year.”

COVID-19 vaccine being administered at the Canal Number 2 Health Centre

Several elderly persons also said they are grateful to President Ali for ensuring that they are immunised.

Canal Number 2 resident, Mr. Satnarine Kissoon said he feels safer now that he has been vaccinated.

“I want to be on the safe side, okay. Giving the vaccine is not a bad thing. I think it’s good because you know, we take precautions and be comfortable in life,” he said.

Mr. Satnarine Kissoon displays his COVID-19 vaccination card at the Canal Number Two Health Centre

Mr. Seesankar said he is happy to have been vaccinated and encouraged all Guyanese to ensure they are inoculated from COVID-19.

“I think it is very, very good for each individual because I personally, I migrate nearly two years ago from Canada and I do take vaccines yearly over there. So, this is nothing strange to me and I would advise each and every Guyanese to take this vaccine.”

The Government has already received 103,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the latest being a batch of 80,000 of the AstraZeneca from India. It received 20,000 doses of Sinopharm from the People’s Republic of China and 3,000 of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Barbados.

The Government is awaiting a consignment of 104,000 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, and 149,000 doses under a CARICOM-African Union purchase agreement. Last weekend, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced that Guyana has ordered 200,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine with the first shipment of 50,000 doses to arrive soon. After the first shipment, the Government expects to receive another 50,000 every two weeks until it has received its full quota.