China will donate Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Guyana

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China will be donating 20,000 doses of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, according to Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony.

Dr Anthony, during his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday, revealed the name of the vaccine, two days after China pledged the donation. Clinical trials have pegged the vaccine as 79.3% effective; this, Dr Anthony said, is “very good.” The vaccine has been given emergency authorisation use in China and in the Caribbean region.

But although COVAX has pledged another 104,000 does of AstraZeneca to Guyana, Dr Anthony said it is still not enough to cater to the category of frontline workers, elderly persons and persons with comorbidities.  These categories of persons will first be offered vaccines when it comes to Guyana, according to the government’s deployment plan.

Dr Anthony said some 22,000 persons are frontline workers with an even larger number of persons making up the elderly and persons with comorbidities.

“There are more persons in those categories than the 104,000,” he added.

He said Guyana is making other arrangements to acquire vaccines; in addition to China, Guyana is also in talks with Indian and Russia on sourcing COVID-19 vaccines.

The Health Minister, although encouraging persons to take the vaccines, said that with no mandatory need to take it, he foresees some persons refusing which will free up space for other persons who are desirous of taking it.

“My advice is that persons who are offered should take it,” he added.

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