Jan 25, 2021 Letters
I fully support B. John’s letter in the KN of 1-24 2021 in which he implores the Guyana government to approach india for supplies of th AstraZeneca vaccine.If India can be generous to neighbouring Brazil by giving them COVID vaccines then there is no reason to believe it will not do likewise to Guyana.
Noteworthy is Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley offering to buy the AstraZeneca vaccine from India for Barbados citizens. Why can’t Guyana get more proactive in this area. In the developed countries the major vaccines used are the Moderna and the Pfizer. Distributing them presents a daunting challenge.
One big reason? One of the front-runners in the vaccine race — the one made by Pfizer — needs to be kept extremely cold: minus 70 degrees Celsius, which is colder than winter in Antarctica. Moderna has said that its vaccine needs to be frozen too, but only at minus 20 Celsius, more like a regular freezer.
India’s AStraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate dubbed AZD 1222 can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated temps at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and can be administered in “existing healthcare settings” giving the shot a major logistic leg up in distribution. It follows that India’s vaccine is best suited for Guyana.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be effective. So far there are no reports of any vaccines being given to Guyana.In the meantime qualifications need to be made who will get the vaccines first including health care workers, the armed forces and those above 55 years old. Accordingly Guyana needs to prepare for the proper storage facilities when the vaccines arrive.
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