Guyana signs up with Global Vaccine Alliance to get COVID-19 vaccines

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Guyana has signed up to COVAX Facility, a global initiative to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and then provide the vaccines in a guaranteed rapid, fair and equitable manner to countries which need them.

The move was announced by Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Thursday afternoon.

“We can only exit this pandemic if have a vaccine,” Dr Anthony stated at a press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. He had previously stated that Guyana was in talks with Russia and Argentina who were developing and testing vaccines.

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony

Signing up to COVAX, the News Room understands, costs US$500,000 but Guyana’s cost is likely to be met through GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which is coordinating COVAX along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

COVAX has the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines.

On Thursday, GAVI announced US$150 million in initial, catalytic support for 92 low- and middle-income economies eligible for participation in the Gavi COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC).

Guyana is among those countries and the News Room understands that Guyana is expected to be guaranteed vaccines to cover 20% of the population at the initial stage of distribution.

“The only way to bring the loss of life, damage to livelihoods and huge economic losses wrought by COVID-19 to an end is to defeat the pandemic everywhere,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board.

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