Single-dose vaccines being imported mainly for hinterland areas

Last Updated on Monday, 31 May 2021, 19:48 by Denis Chabrol

Vaccine registration process underway

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday announced that Guyana has purchased 150,000 of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be administered to persons mainly in the interior regions, as part of the overall plan to build up resistance to the coronavirus by most Guyanese.

“I think once we are able to get that, it will be very appropriate for us to use that especially in the interior areas because some of those areas are very difficult to reach and if you give the one-shot then that will be very helpful for the staff out there,” Dr. Anthony said in his latest COVID-19 update..

He said government last week paid for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the  doses are expected to arrive in June. Those jabs are being made available through a partnership between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union. Of the 1.5 million doses that would be provided to the Caribbean, the Health Minister said

Another set of vaccines are expected by mid-June through the COVAX facility.

The Health Minister said Guyana was working on the logistics and number of the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccines, with the expectation that they would arrive later this week.

Meanwhile, he appealed to Guyanese to go and get their second dose AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines to ensure that they are fully protected against the virus.  “We still say a few people can get infected after the first dose. We want people to come back and get their second dose because we have seen that everyone who has gotten their second dose, they are not getting the infection,” he said.

Dr. Anthony highlighted that there is no evidence of fully vaccinated persons being infected, falling severely ill or dying from COVID-19.

Official figures released earlier Monday show that 68,333 persons or 14 percent of Guyana’s adult population have received their second doses, while those have received their first jab now total 198,956 or 40.9 percent of the adult population.

Of the 2,041 active cases, 104 persons have been hospitalised and they include 23 receiving intensive care. Forty-two new cases were recorded on Monday.

The Health Ministry said that up to Monday, 389 persons have succumbed to the viral disease.