Guyana a step closer to accessing COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX

−AstraZeneca approved by US Independent Advisory Committee  
−Gov’t in talks with India, Russia for more vaccines

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, says Guyana and other countries are one 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 Minister made this announcement during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“One of the vaccines that COVAX is going to use is the AstraZeneca vaccine. Yesterday, the expert group reviewing the vaccine met and they have given a green light to AstraZeneca vaccine, so we expect that the World Health Organization would also at some point during the month, authorise the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.   

This is all part of the regulatory hurdle to ensure the vaccine is properly reviewed by the expert panels and expert groups, ensuring it is safe and efficacious,” Dr. Anthony said.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has already been approved and is currently in use in the United Kingdom, in several European countries and India.

The Guyana Government is also in talks with India and Russia to acquire more vaccines for the population.

“There are other manufacturers of vaccines which includes India, and we have had some bilateral discussions with them. They required some documentation, some documentation has been sent, and we are now awaiting a formal response from the Government of India pertaining to the documents that we have sent. We are also talking to Russia, manufacturer of the Sputnik V vaccine,” the Minister said.

In addition to the 104, 000 vaccines through COVAX, Guyana is also set to benefit from a donation of 20,000 does of the Sinopharm vaccine from the Government of China. Further, the Government is brokering an arrangement through the CARICOM-African Union to purchase at least 140,000 doses of a Covid vaccine.

As the COVAX mechanism gears up to release the vaccines, Minister Anthony said all the required documentation from Guyana has been submitted to ensure the process flows smoothly.  Frontline workers, the elderly and persons with co-morbidities are among those set to benefit from the first batch of vaccines Guyana receives.

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