Feb 11, 2021 News
– 1,400 frontline healthcare workers and 100 persons from CARICOM
Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali yesterday announced the arrival of Guyana’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, which comes as a donation from Barbados. In a statement, the President said that of the 3,000 doses received, 100 persons at the CARICOM Secretariat will benefit and the remaining will be given to frontline healthcare workers.
The Barbados donation came from 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which was also Barbados’ first batch. The vaccines were given to Barbados by the Government of India and arrived in Barbados on Tuesday. “I wish to thank Prime Minister Mia Mottley, and by extension, the people of Barbados for sharing with us from their first batch of vaccines,” the President noted in his statement.
He further stated that in the coming days and weeks, Guyana would receive “various tranches of vaccines.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, has stated that immunization will begin today. He told the media that the Ministry would have an exercise where persons from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the Ocean View COVID-19 facility will be allowed to receive the jab. The Minister stated that it is okay if any of those persons do not wish to take the vaccine, but they are making sure the option is there.
He added that the vaccines are double-dose vaccines, so after the first dose has been administered, persons will be expected to take the second dosage four to 12 weeks after.
Guyana is already set to receive vaccines for 20 percent of the population from the COVAX facility. Out of that 20 percent, the first batch of some 3,800 doses is expected to arrive from the facility by March.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony had said that Guyana is a step closer to accessing COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX with the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the US Independent Advisory Committee. He said that once approved, Guyana would receive 104,000 vaccines through COVAX.
The country is also benefitting from a donation of 20,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from the Government of China. Vaccines will also be acquired through an agreement with the CARICOM-African Union and Guyana will be purchasing 140,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to that, the government is also in talks with Russia and India for a quota of vaccines. So far, priority has been placed on frontline workers, the elderly and persons with co-morbidities to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Anthony maintained that before anyone receives a COVID-19 vaccine; they will need to have a thorough medical check administered and the Health Ministry will be implementing follow-up care after the vaccine has been taken by a person.=
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