Preparations for COVID-19 vaccine administration underway – Dr Anthony

…23 new cases recorded

Out of 262 COVID-19 swabs that were sent to the Health Ministry on Monday, 23 returned with a positive result.
The new statistics were provided in the Health Ministry’s dashboard showing that deaths remained at 170.
According to the daily dashboard, four patients are in the Intensive Care Unit, 33 in institutional isolation and 19 in institutional quarantine. There are 551 persons in home isolation. Some 6173 of the 3551 males and 3380 females have recovered completely. To date, Guyana has tested 44,500 individuals.
Meanwhile, an analysis of new cases showed that one was confirmed in Region One (Barima-Waini), two in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 10 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), nine in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), and one in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The cases in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) remained constant at 219, 569, 228, 404 respectively.

Vaccine preparation
There are a number of factors which need to be considered, in order to effectively provide vaccine administration against the COVID-19 virus.
Given that, with the newly-introduced programme, the Health Ministry had to embark on a plan to ensure that all regional facilities are equipped with adequate space and machines for storage. Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony provided a detailed update of their efforts, bolstering the physical and human capacity across the country.
He informed during the COVID-19 update, “The Ministry currently has a network of facilities. So, in every region, we have a facility for cold chain and that’s where we have been storing our vaccines for regular vaccination programme. What we are doing currently is expanding the space that we have at these centres. By expanding it and adding new freezers, we’ll add capacity. This will be a new programme where we start the immunisation for COVID-19 so we need more space and capacity to store the doses.”
He shared that the vaccines received from COVAX could require storage at varying temperatures, cementing the need for proper storage facilities. Apart from expanding the physical space, freezers have to be procured. These orders were submitted since last year.
“We still have not received a firm commitment from COVAX about the types of vaccines that we will be getting but by a large, COVAX has been talking to all the countries and they have been saying by a large that probably we’ll get a mix of vaccine.”
Another aspect of the plans for vaccination is the national preparedness plan, under the guidance of the World Health Organisation.
“We have completed that document which talks about every single aspect of rolling out vaccines in Guyana. That has been the blueprint that we’ve been working with. Among the things that we have to do is training. We have completed training manuals, started training the trainers. Now the trainers would be going out to the different regions,” he shared. (G12)