Guyana to receive 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines in coming days

-20,000 doses of Sinopharm from China
-80,000 doses of AstraZeneca from India
-Minister Anthony

Guyana is expected to receive 20,000 Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines tomorrow from the Government of China, while 80,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected on March 8.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony made this announcement during his presentation at the budget debate in the National Assembly on Monday.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

During his daily COVID-19 update the Minister said systems are in place to ensure that every person who receives the vaccine receives the recommended two doses. He explained that doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be put aside to ensure that there is enough to administer the second dose to persons 12 weeks after they would have taken the initial jab.

“We will make sure that we have enough booster doses so when we administer the first dose, we’ll have the second dose for those who need it set aside. So, everybody who got the first shot will be able to get the second dose,” Dr. Anthony said.

Minister Anthony noted that the initial 3,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Barbados, coupled with the incoming 100,000 from China and India would see all of Guyana’s frontline health care workers inoculated. It would also start the roll out of the Ministry’s comprehensive public vaccination programme.

The Ministry’s COVID-19 vaccination policy stipulated that frontline health workers be the first to be immunised, followed by the elderly, persons with comorbidities then the wider population.

Through a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, the Ministry identified the elderly persons through the pension database.

“We’ll have a sense of who those persons are, where they are living and so forth, and we’ll be able to use that to reach them.”

With regards to the persons with comorbidities, Minister Anthony said the majority of these persons utilise the public health services and their records would be in the system.

“Health centres would help us identify, district hospitals, regional hospital and through that process, we will be able to give these vaccines,” he said.

The Ministry of Health started the COVID-19 immunisation campaign on February 11, one day after the country received its first donation of vaccines from Barbados.

Guyana is also set to receive more than 104,000 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism later this month. The Government would also benefit from another 149,000 doses of vaccines through a purchase agreement under the CARICOM-African Union agreement.

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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.