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Medical Council endorses Sputnik V vaccine

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 June 2021, 16:49 by Denis Chabrol

The Medical Council of Guyana on Saturday endorsed the use of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine as one of several that is being used to protect people against becoming seriously sick or dying from COVID-19.

The Council, which regulates medical practitioners, said all of the available data about Sputnik shows that it is considered safe by many countries although it is yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). “This particular Vaccine was the first to be registered and while it is awaiting official approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), the data surrounding its use is reassuring. Many countries (74 to date) have started using this vaccine based on evaluation of the data on safety, efficacy and availability,” the Council states.

That independent regulator sounded an optimistic tone that the WHO would shortly approve the Sputnik V jab. “There is no reason to expect denial of approval for this vaccine from the WHO and other authorities in the coming weeks,” the Council states.

The Medical Council said all of the vaccines available in Guyana, including the Sputnik V, have a 100% record in preventing severe COVID-10 infection which is defined as admission to an Intensive Care Unit, needing ventilatory support or death.

The Council states that none of the 442 deaths recorded in Guyana was seen in fully (2 doses) vaccinated persons. Further, the Council said there has been no overwhelming adverse events reported worldwide for ANY of the Vaccines used in Guyana to date.

In addition to social distancing, handwashing and wearing of masks, the Medical Council notes that vaccines provide additional protection against the virus by helping humans to develop immunity which help us fight off infections.

The Medical Council said the Sputnik V vaccine is undergoing the same process as the other available jabs before WHO approval where countries have adopted a policy of “use” pending approval after careful evaluation by their own technical team.

Guyana and its neighbors, according to the Medical  Council, have the requisite technical expertise to analyze scientific data and make appropriate recommendations to Guyana’s policy makers. “This was the basis for using the various vaccines in Guyana – independent technical analysis of Risk versus Benefits,” the Council added.

The Council said every person above the age of 18 is eligible for COVID 19 vaccines in Guyana, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Additionally, the Council advises that persons with a history of severe allergic reactions should seek medical advice before considering the vaccines and are the only group who may not be medically suitable.

Healthcare workers were among the first to benefit from the Vaccination program in Guyana and this has likely contributed significantly to reducing the adverse outcomes among the fraternity, the Council said. The Medical Council of Guyana wished that everyone residing on Guyana would take advantage of the same protection as frontline workers and therefore urges them to get vaccinated.

“We are of the view that the best COVID-19 vaccine to take is the one that you have available right now.,” the Council said.

The Council on Saturday made known its position on the Sputnik V vaccines and generally other jabs, in the wake of persistent calls for Ministry of Health to suspend the use of that Russian-made vaccine.