The vaccination roll out – no shortages for second doses

There are enough COVID-19 vaccines in storage to provide all persons who have received their first dose. Many persons have been calling expressing concern that they will not be able to get their second dose. Their concerns have been heightened by rumours that the Ministry of Health has been using up all vaccines that have come into the country. These rumours are the work of persons with malicious intent. The Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Health have ensured that for everyone receiving a first dose, there is an equivalent amount of vaccine doses stored away. We assured persons not to worry, their first doses are secured safely and there will be no delay in them receiving their second doses. Even as the MOH assures the public everyone with a first does is guaranteed second doses on a timely basis, the MOH urges those spreading rumours and fake news to desist from such reckless behaviour.

As the rollout continues with almost 100 permanent sites in the ten regions, the MOH is also reaching out to communities on a daily basis. These outreaches are taken to different communities every day. Today, there are outreaches in communities like Seafield (Region 5), Pomeroon River (Region 2), Hope Estate (Region 4). Tomorrow, there are outreaches in Buxton, Victoria, Charity, Novar/Dundee, Strathspey.

This weekend, there are outreaches in Festival City and Plaisance (Region 4), Affiance, Queenstown, Jack Low, Siriki and Abrams Creek (Region 2). During next week outreaches will be conducted in Orealla/Siparuta (Region 6), Moraikobai (Region 5), Charity, St. Denny and Masahbo (Region 2) and several communities in Regions 1,7,8, 9 and 10. In Region 8, during the last week, outreaches have been conducted in the North Pakaraimas, Orinduik, Waipa, Sandhill, Kaibarupai, Kopinang and Maikwak. Today, Region 8 continues in Kopinang and Kamana. In the next week, in Region 8, outreach teams will visit Kato, Kurukabaru, Arasawa, Itabac, Kanapang and Chuing Mouth. These are just some of the outreaches that are being conducted every day.

We continue to work with the private sector, other government agencies, Pandits, Pastors and Imams.

By the end of this week, Guyana would have taken possession of an overall total of 260,000 doses of vaccines, enough to guarantee 156,000 persons first doses. There are shipments of vaccines into Guyana every week over the next several weeks, with another 262,000 doses of first and second dose vaccines which have been acquired to be delivered to Guyana. With the vaccines Guyana has already acquired, once the vaccines arrive, Guyana will be able to fully vaccinate 261,000 persons. The MOH’s goal is to reach 100,000 first dose vaccination early next week.

The Government of Guyana is also part of COVAX which is due to deliver another shipment to Guyana within weeks. Guyana had received 24,000 doses of vaccines from COVAX in March and is due to receive a larger shipment. However, Guyana has not received an estimated time of arrival, other than the next COVAX shipment is sometime towards the end of April or in May. Guyana is also continuing to engage several sources (governments and manufacturers) for vaccines as the Government tries to ensure all citizens 18 years and older are vaccinated sooner than later.   

At this time, the MOH continue to vaccinate persons 40 years and older. The MOH has not yet make a decision as to any change in the eligibility requirement for vaccination. When a change is made, the MOH will make that announcement.

Dr. Leslie Ramsammy