Guyana engaging Russia on COVID-19 Vaccine
The Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony on Friday announced that the government is engaging Russia to access the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V from that country if it proves to be successful in fighting off the virus that has so far killed 46 persons and infected 1, 400 in Guyana.
The medical journal Lancet on Friday pointed out that in Phase 1 and 2 studies of the vaccine, all 76 study participants developed antibodies to the virus that causes Covid-19.
It was further reported that while the vaccine often caused side effects such as fever, those side effects were mostly mild.
During a virtual press conference on Friday, Dr. Anthony said the engagement does not mean a decision has been made to buy the vaccine but that if it another round of trials proves that it can be used, then Guyana wants to be able to have it as an option. Many other vaccines are being developed.
“What we want to do is understand the vaccine they are offering – how it works, the science behind it – and if it is proven to be effective, then we’ll make those decisions as we go.
“But I think it is important that we engage early so that we have many options to choose from,” Dr Anthony stated.
He said initial discussion have been held with the Russian embassy here and next Thursday a Ministry of Health team would engage with the Russian government in a teleconference to learn more about the particular vaccine.
“From the reviews we have seen in the Lancet, this vaccine seems to be safe but we will have to await the Phase 3 trials to see how this will pan out, Dr Anthony stated.
The Health Ministry is also working with the Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) to access any vaccine which is approved by the global health agency.