Second vaccination rollout this weekend

−Sinopharm vaccine safe and effective says Min. Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines will be rolled out from this weekend. The 20,000 vaccines arrived in Guyana on Tuesday evening, a gift from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“With these 20,000 doses, we’ll be able to immunise 10,000 persons in Guyana. And, as you know, the first set of people to benefit from these vaccines are healthcare workers, and so we are offering it to our healthcare staff. So, over the weekend, we are going to start using this particular vaccine, to roll it out,” he said during Friday’s Covid update.

Dr. Anthony noted that because this second roll out is a different vaccine, further training was done with staff.

“We have had some experience with the AstraZeneca vaccine and we know how to use that. This one, we have all the information, but out of an abundance of caution, we went back and we trained our healthcare workers on how to administer this particular vaccine.

We had to develop some information booklets so that when someone come to get the vaccine, they are also receiving the information booklet that explains to them exactly how the vaccine works and what are the possible side effects,” he said.

Dr. Anthony reiterated that the Sinopharm vaccine is safe and effective against Covid.  

“As we have seen from the scientific literature, it’s about 79.4 per cent, which is really good, and it means that if somebody receives the vaccine that it would prevent them from getting the disease. But if they do, however, because there’s still that small percentage chance that they can get the disease, it will be in a mild way.”

Minister Anthony said Guyana was very lucky to be able to get these vaccines because they are now in very high demand. Many countries have already put in orders for them and the Chinese Government is also starting to immunise its own population. “So, there is a little scarcity,” he said.

In addition to the Sinopharm, in mid-February, the Government received a donation of 3,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Government of Barbados. Guyana is also currently awaiting 80,000 vaccines from the Government of India, some 104, 000 doses through the COVAX mechanism and 149,000 through a CARICOM-African Union purchase agreement.