First dose of COVID-19 vaccines likely by next month
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines can be rolled out as early as next month, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony revealed on Tuesday. The Health Minister explained that the vaccines will be a limited amount and will be used to test the country’s vaccination process.
“They (COVAX) have told us that they would like to start earlier and they asked countries pertaining to the readiness and asked us to submit some documentation, which we did. So if they are able to roll out earlier, we expect that countries would start receiving vaccines as of next month,” the Health Minister said.
Dr Anthony explained once this process is successfully completed, the initial three per cent dosage of the vaccines would then be rolled out. The first group of persons who will receive the vaccines will be healthcare workers while the second dose will go to the older population and persons with comorbidities.
While Guyana does not know which of the vaccines it will receive, it is being acquired through the COVAX mechanism. COVAX last week announced that it signed an advance purchase agreement with Pfizer for 40 million doses of its vaccines.
COVAX also said that it is working with Serum Institute of India to acquire 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University-developed vaccine.
“COVAX [has] not said to any of the countries that these are the types of vaccine they will receive or the date when they will receive it,” Dr Anthony clarified.
In an effort to prepare for the early vaccination rollout, teams across the ten administrate regions are being trained on how to administer the jab.
“We have recruited a lot of people who would be part of the immunisation team and that are an ongoing process,” the Health Minister said.