Dr Anthony now says frontline health workers will get COVID-19 vaccine first
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony on Monday revealed that the first set of COVID-19 vaccines will be administered to frontline health workers, after which the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions will receive the second dose.
The Minister had initially stated that the first doses of the vaccine would have been given to the elderly persons and persons with comorbidities but that had to be changed in keeping with protocols developed by COVAX – the agency which is facilitating the distribution of the vaccines to Guyana.
“We are expecting that sometime next year we will get the first tranche of vaccines which will be the three per cent and we will make that available to our frontline health workers,” Dr Anthony said on Monday during the daily COVID-19 update.
The country has already signed the terms of reference to acquire the vaccines through COVAX. While Guyana is set to receive vaccines for only 20 per cent of the population, the Minister explained that they are working on acquiring more vaccines for at least 80 per cent of the population.
“We will have to continue to working on trying to get more vaccines because many of the experts believe that for us to exit the pandemic we will have achieve something that is called herd immunity,” the Minister said.
He further explained that persons who died from COVID-19 so far have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart, kidney and lung diseases, as well as persons who were living with HIV; he said there has been one case with a patient who also had tuberculosis.
“We have a range of comorbidities and what we have observed is that these persons are at a higher risk for the disease and that is why in coming up with our vaccine allocation protocol we strongly believe we should immunize older persons and of course persons with the comorbidities,” the Minister said.
Persons with underlying health conditions were urged to take all necessary precautions to guard against the dreaded disease.