Guyana on PAHO’S priority list for COVID-19 vaccine by March 2021
By Bibi Khatoon
The Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) is currently supporting several countries to get an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the first batch could be ready by the end of March next year.
“The vaccines are not coming this year…this one is fast-tracked given the years vaccines take [to develop]…now two of the trials are in the third stage of human trials so we should expect something at the end of the first quarter of 2021,” PAHO’s representative in Guyana Dr William Adu-Krow told the News Room during an interview on Wednesday.
According to the WHO, the two trials at stage three belong to a biotechnology company in the United States of America, Moderna and AstraZeneca/University of Oxford in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
PAHO/WHO has teamed up with the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI) to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines (COVAX), and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Ninety-two countries will be supported including Guyana.
According to Dr Adu-Krow, in the initial stage of the vaccine, countries will be given vaccines for 10% of their population but Guyana is among a list of countries which will be given more in an effort to control the spread of the virus.
“The very first batch of vaccines that come, every country will be given ten percent of its population so Guyana, we are 760,000, they’ll give us 76,000.
“Now apart from that, some countries are being deemed as countries that must be supported to control the virus and the six countries that PAHO decides to provide more vaccines to; Guyana is one so we would benefit from I think another 25%,” the health expert explained.
The rest will be given based on a needs assessment.
Guyana has surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 cases and the PAHO representative is urging citizens to continue to take precautions to safeguard themselves and families.
The country has so far recorded 31 deaths and he believes with less precautions, more persons can lose their lives before a vaccine is fully developed.