Several COVID-19 vaccines being explored
-Some vaccines are in the final phase of being approved
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony has disclosed that the Health Ministry is currently engaging with multiple international organisations to explore different medications to assist Guyana’s fight against the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
Health Minister during a virtual press conference on Friday said, on August 31, a letter of intent was signed to allow Guyana to be a part of the COVAX Facility, where 16 vaccines are being looked at.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – which aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and fundamentally guaranteeing fair and equitable access for every country during the pandemic.
COVAX is co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“By mid-next year, through this mechanism, we will receive vaccines equivalent to 20% of our population,” Dr. Anthony relayed.
Last month, Russia named its first COVID-19 vaccine – Sputnik. Like all vaccines, Sputnik had to undergo approval. To date, Phase 1 and 2 trials have been completed, while Phase 3 is in progress.
Dr. Anthony disclosed that through the Russian Embassy in Guyana, a technical team from the Health Ministry engaged with the Russian Government via a teleconference, to learn more and grasp a better understanding of the vaccine and its effectiveness in treating the infectious disease.
Upon completion of Phase 3, Guyana can expect to benefit from the Russian-COVID-19 vaccine.
Amongst other medicinal options is a generic medication from India known as Remdesivir. Remdesivir is described as an antiviral medication, which is currently being studied to treat the COVID-19. It has been reported that critically ill patients can benefit tremendously from this medication.
Dr. Anthony further conveyed that the Argentinean Government is looking at vaccines with the aim of producing 250 million dosages. The Health Ministry will engage in bilateral meetings to ensure Guyana is listed as one of the beneficiaries to treat its patients, and essentially curtailing the spread of the deadly virus.
As of September 03, Guyana recorded 1,401 confirmed cases from 9,040 tests.