Updated COVID-19 vaccines expected by month end − Health Minister

As Guyana and the rest of the world continues to battle against the Coronavirus pandemic the Ministry of Health has procured the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine, through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) mechanism.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, during Friday’s COVID-19 update, said the first shipment is expected in the last week of January.

“Right now, we’re expecting in the first shipment to have about 7,000 doses and we have asked for more so later on we’ll be getting more,” Dr Anthony stated.

The bivalent vaccine also known as an ‘updated COVID-19 vaccine’ includes a component of the original strain of the COVID-19 virus. This will provide broad protection and a component of the omicron variant will provide better protection against variants that are deemed deadlier.

A COVID-19 vaccine

Minister Anthony explained with the two components, these bivalent vaccines are more effective.”

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the bivalent vaccine is authorised for use as a single booster dose in individuals five years and older, at least two months after completion of either primary dose with any authorised or approved COVID-19 vaccine or receipt of the most recent booster dose with any authorised or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

“Once we get it (bivalent vaccine), we’ll put out suitable advisories so that people can access these vaccines. The main thing here is that with our primary doses, Guyana would have done relatively well, we’re about 80 per cent the first dose, and about 70 per cent second dose, that’s relatively well so most people in Guyana would have had their primary doses which means most people would be eligible for the bivalent,” the minister noted.

Once these vaccines arrive in Guyana people will be urged to come and get boosted. In the meantime, the Sinopharm, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines are available to the public if they wish to be protected against COVID-19.