Jun 18, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, stated during a press conference yesterday, that the Government did not source vaccines from any illegal entity.
“At no time did Guyana procure vaccines from any illegal entity or anyone in trouble with legal authorities anywhere, at no time did Guyana access vaccines secretly from anyone. In every instance, the Ministry of Health has followed the established process and has established legally binding contracts to ensure the timely delivery of these vaccines,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, had questioned the procurement of a batch of some 200,000 Russian Sputnik V vaccines which was recently acquired by the MoH through Sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who is reported by a Norwegian publication to have accessed vaccines from a Norwegian convict, Per Morten Hansen, adding that the Government should suspend the usage of the Russian vaccine until the authenticity of Guyana’s batch is verified.
The Health Minister went on to say that Harmon’s suspicion is just mischievous and reckless, and that his comments have the power to undermine the Government’s vaccination programme.
Additionally, the Minister said that the Government contracted the Sheik after discussions with the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), after the Government learned that Al Maktoum who is a member of the ruling family of the UAE and founder of the diversified conglomerate, Africa Middle East Resources Investment Limited (AMERI Group) was an authentic source of good vaccines.
“When we had the discussion with the Russian Direct Investment, and they said to us that they have suppliers who they would normally work with, and one of the suppliers we understood to be was the Sheik. Therefore, since he had authentic access to vaccines produced by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the manufactures of Sputnik V, we engaged them ‘Sheik,’ and they said they can supply Guyana with vaccines. We negotiated and we now have vaccines through this particular supplier,” the Minister said.
Dr. Anthony also stated that, “the Sheik’s company has a track record of dealing with pharmaceuticals and medical products.”
Sputnik V has been listed for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) and will complete that process within the next two months. However, more than 70 countries have moved ahead to grant the vaccine EUA and have begun administering jabs to their citizens.
The Minister further expressed that, “Harmon is not a medical person…he probably has not much clue about anything pertaining to vaccines, yet Mr. Harmon decides that the vaccine is not safe.” He also added that the Opposition Leader has not produced any evidence to substantiate his claims that the vaccines being used in the country are ‘fake’ and therefore, his claims should not be taken seriously. “Since he hasn’t produced any evidence and he is not a medical person, why should we bother with him? We are going to continue to use Sputnik V vaccines because it is safe,” Dr. Anthony said.
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