25,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine arrive in Guyana
– to boost vaccination campaign
Guyana received 25,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine on Friday as part of the 200,000 doses that was purchased by Government to the tune of US$4 million.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, who was present at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport upon arrival of the vaccine on Good Friday, stated that this batch will be used as the first doses for 25,000 people as arrangements are being made for the second tranche.
“We’ll start utilising this as early as next week. This vaccine is a two-dose vaccine as well and we’ll have an interval of three weeks between first and second dose. The 25,000 that came in are all first dose and so we have made arrangements as well to start getting the second dose,” the Minister said.
He noted that additional vaccines are expected through the COVAX mechanism but authorities are constantly exploring new avenues to ensure that enough vaccines are available to immunise the adult population.
In total, Guyana has received 152,000 doses of vaccines, with 3000 from Barbados; 20,000 from China; 80,000 from India; 24,000 from COVAX and 25,000 from the United Arab Emirates via Russia.
Guyana has donated 5000 doses of vaccines back to Barbados, leaving 147,000 vaccines for the immediate rollout locally.
“With 147,000 doses, we expect to vaccinate 86,000 persons with first doses and 61,000 of these persons with both their first and second doses. This is a massive undertaking, but the rollout so far has demonstrated that Guyana can and will succeed in vaccinating all persons aged 18 and older,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The vaccination campaign started with frontline health workers and then extended to persons 60 years and over. It then lowered this limit to 40 years. Over 36,000 persons in Guyana have been vaccinated to date. Authorities are working aggressively to secure more COVID-19 jabs so that the country can achieve herd immunity.
So far, the COVID-19 vaccination rollout has administered over 39,000 doses of vaccines and by next week, the accelerated vaccination rollout is expected to reach over 40,000 persons
“This is an incredible achievement in an environment where developing countries have had little to no access to COVID-19 vaccines. More than 30 countries have had no access to even a single dose of vaccines as yet. Dozens of countries have only received enough vaccines for less than one per cent of their population. Over the next several days and in the coming weeks, Guyana will pursue access to an even larger amount of vaccines. The President and the Vice President have been aggressively pursuing COVID-19 vaccine procurement from all possible legitimate sources,” the Ministry added.
From April 6, the rollout will ramp up with almost 100 fixed sites around the country. There will also be mobile teams in all ten regions. In addition to these sites, there are special sites organised through a collaboration between religious leaders.
“The MOH is urging Local Government bodies, such as the NDCs, and religious leaders, such as pastors, pandits and imams to encourage people in the communities to take their vaccines. We urge political leaders to take an active role in promoting COVID-19 vaccination. Further, we urge everyone to be responsible. For those persons promoting conspiracy theories, we ask them to desist,” the Ministry insisted.