Guyana to pay for 149,000 doses of COVID vaccine from African Union/CARICOM

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One day after he announced that Guyana is expected to receive an additional 149,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the African Union/CARICOM vaccine agreement, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony has clarified that Guyana will have to pay for those vaccines.

“It is not going to be free… Guyana will have to pay for it,” Dr Anthony said.

Guyana’s doses are part of the 1.5 million doses promised to the Caribbean through an agreement with the African Union. During his daily COVID-19 update on Friday, the Health Minister also said that through the agreement Guyana will have access to the highly effective Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

President Irfaan Ali has already said that Guyanese will not have to pay for the vaccines.  In keeping with that promise, it is anticipated that the government will absorb the cost and not pass it onto citizens.

Guyana has already secured a donation of 22,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China and another 104,000 does of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility.

Clinical trials have pegged the Sinopharm vaccine as 79.3 per cent effective while AstraZeneca is seen as 66 per cent effective.

Guyana continues to push to ensure that it has enough vaccines 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. 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.

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