More vaccines being accepted for travel to Guyana

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said persons travelling to Guyana, are allowed to enter if they are immunised by other vaccines than those previously stated.

In addition to the US FDA and World Health Organisation (WHO) approved Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca vaccines, Guyana is also accepting persons vaccinated with shots not yet approved by the international health bodies.

Picture of the Covid-19 testing area at the CJIA

In addition to WHO approved vaccines, we are accepting persons who have Sputnik, there are persons who have been travelling in from Cuba, they have the Soberana vaccine and we have been accepting those as well, and there are some other vaccines that will be coming on stream so, so if persons have them and they need to travel, they just need to seek guidance and we’ll be able to clear that,” Dr Anthony said during his Covid update, Thursday.

The WHO is yet to approve several vaccines including the Russian made Sputnik V, which has been approved in over 70 countries worldwide. The WHO said Wednesday that it is sill assessing the vaccine for emergency use.

Dr. Anthony noted that since vaccination does not prevent infection, but rather prevents hospitalisation and death, a negative PCR will still have to be shown before entry.

Airplane at The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA)

If we know that vaccinated persons can still be infected and potentially carry the virus, it would mean that we still have to do testing so that is the policy, that’s what we have been doing and that is what a lot of countries around the world have been doing, so you get your PCR test, you also produce your vaccination record, in the case of Guyana, once you have at least the first dose of the vaccine, we accept you,” Dr. Anthony said.

He reminded that children under two years do not require a negative PCR test to travel to Guyana.

 He said different jurisdictions have different requirements. “Generally, most countries would accept the PCR, in the case of the United States they accept both PCR and Antigen test, but generally all other countries generally would ask for PCR test.”

With regards to vaccination requirements for domestic travel, Minister Anthony noted that government’s policy remains that once a person is in a public space, they need to produce their vaccination card and the airport is considered a public space.

To date there are 69 cases reported of imported COVID-19 cases.