Several COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in coming weeks

The Ministry of Health has been making preparations for several vaccines that are expected in the country in coming weeks.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony during Thursday’s COVID-19 Update, said while the Pfizer vaccine is not yet here, measures are being put in place to ensure a smooth roll out process.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

The Ministry will be using this specific vaccine to immunise children against the Coronavirus.

“The two vaccines that have been approved for children between the ages of 18 to 12 years are basically the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. And so, we are making efforts to get those and we expect that very shortly we will have those vaccines in Guyana. When we get them, we will be working very closely with the Ministry of Education to make sure that we’re able to roll this out to children in school.

It is a choice, but we hope that parents would understand that for children to return to school, they should be in a safe environment, and we’ll encourage them to make sure that their children get the vaccine,” Minister Anthony said.

He noted that the other vaccines expected are the Sputnik V and Johnson and Johnson.

“We’re working on that and by next week or so we hope to get another batch of second dose Sputnik V. Johnson and Johnson as well, we’re awaiting a final date when those vaccines are going to get here, but we anticipate that by next week, we will have a formal timeline.”

Minister Anthony reiterated that all the vaccines currently in use and those expected are safe. For the Pfizer and Moderna specifically, the Health Minister said the literature has been published for everyone to scrutinise.

“Millions of doses have been used across the world, and the results have been quite good in terms of administering Pfizer and Moderna to children, because many countries do not have enough vaccines, they have started using the vaccines for their adult population, and I suppose when they get enough, they will then be able to give to their children, to lower age groups.

In the United States, they don’t have vaccine scarcity and they recognise that if they’re going to keep the school system safe then they need to vaccinate children.”

Minister Anthony also noted that it is becoming increasingly important to immunise children against COVID-19, as the new Delta variant is causing a lot of infections in the United States. Infections which are occurring more in the unvaccinated population.

“If children remain unvaccinated unfortunately, they can get infected. And when they get infected, what we’re seeing now is not a mild form of the disease in children, but a more severe form of the disease in children.”   

On Wednesday, health authorities in Trinidad and Tobago confirmed that the country had registered two cases of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. To date, 279,489 persons in Guyana have taken their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, representing about 57.4 per cent of the country’s adult population, while 146,091 persons or 30 per cent of the population are now fully vaccinated against the deadly disease.