Guyana to receive over 100,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccines
Guyana is set to receive 104,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility once emergency use authorization is granted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We have received correspondence from COVAX indicating that they have been able to do an indicative allocation of vaccines to Guyana or doses to Guyana and that is going to be close to 104, 000 doses of vaccines that we will be getting shortly, the vaccines are going to be from AstraZeneca,” Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony on Monday announced.
The Minister said it is much more than they anticipated in the first dose but nevertheless they are prepared for the rollout.
“We are very happy that they have indicated to us that we will be getting 104, 000 doses as an initial start and we would be working closely with them to see when these vaccines would arrive in Guyana and as soon as we get them we will start rolling out,” the Minister said.
This first dose of vaccines will go to frontline health workers.
Research has shown that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective. According to BBC, no one given the vaccine in trials developed severe symptoms of COVID-19 or needed hospital treatment.
Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine – which has to be kept at an extremely cold temperature (-70C) – the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge. This makes it much easier to distribute.
Meanwhile, President Irfaan Ali at the weekend announced that Guyana will receive 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines from China. The President has assured that each Guyanese will get to choose whether they want to be vaccinated when the immunization drive commences.
In addition to China, Guyana is also in talks with Indian and Russia on sourcing COVID-19 vaccines.