Last Updated on Tuesday, 2 February 2021, 8:35 by Denis Chabrol
Guyana will be getting more than 100,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced by AstraZeneca, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said Monday.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony made the disclosure in an update through the government’s Department of Public Information.
He said the vaccines would be provided through COVAX, a global pooled procurement mechanism, that seeks to ensure fair and equitable access by more than 190 countries. “We have received correspondence from COVAX indicating that they have been able to do an indicative allocation of doses of vaccines to Guyana and that is going to be close to 104,000 doses of vaccines that we’ll be getting shortly,” Dr. Anthony said.
The Health Minister remarked that India, the European Union and the United States have already been given emergency use authorisation.
Two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are required.
Minister Anthony noted that this amount exceeds what was initially expected. It was previously reported that Guyana, in the first wave, would have received three per cent of the 20 per cent population coverage pledged by COVAX.
“We are very happy that they have indicated to us that we will be getting 104,000 doses as an initial start and we would be working closely with them to see when these vaccines will actually arrive in Guyana, and as soon as we get them we’ll start rolling out,” he said.
Government has already said it would be embarking on a public awareness and education drive to dispel myths about taking the jab. Vaccination would not be compulsory, but authorities hope that as many persons as possible will take it to build up herd immunity against the disease that has killed 177 persons to date in Guyana.