Gov’t hopes to have COVID-19 vaccines for all Guyanese by year end

Vice President Hon. Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says Government hopes to have COVID-19 vaccines available for all Guyanese by the end of the year. Vice President Jagdeo made the announcement during a press conference today.

Vice President Hon. Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo

“We are hoping although it will be on a purely voluntary basis, but we are hoping before the end of the year that all Guyanese can be vaccinated and we are hoping that it will be done much earlier but at least to have that as an outside date to have our people vaccinated,” the VP said.

“It is going to be costly and it is going to take a lot of effort but we have to do this, we do not have a choice but to get this done. So, all efforts are being made in that regard,” he added.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony had said earlier in the day that Guyana is a step closer to accessing COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism. with the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the US Independent Advisory Committee. The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being administered in several European countries and India.

Once approved, Guyana will receive 104,000 vaccines through COVAX. This is addition to the 20,000 Sinopharm vaccine Guyana is set to receive from the Government of China. Further, through an agreement with CARICOM-African Union, Guyana will be purchasing 140,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony also highlighted that Government is trying to secure vaccines from India and Russia.

However, before anyone receives a COVID-19 vaccination, they would be subjected to a thorough medical check. The Ministry of Health already has a plan for follow-up care after the vaccine has been administered.

“Our staff has been trained, and they will talk to persons who are coming for vaccination so that those persons understand which vaccine they are getting and what are the possible side effects,” Minister Anthony said.

Last year, the Government had placed a priority on frontline workers, the elderly and persons with co-morbidities to be among the first to benefit from the COVID-19 vaccine.