Guyana to get COVID-19 vaccine donation from India

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Guyana will soon receive a boost in its COVID – 19 vaccine distribution capacity with a donation from the Indian government.

With India pledging the donation of 500,000 of its AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to the Caribbean, Guyana will be appraised of the quota it will receive in coming days.

This is according to Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Dr. K. J. Srinivasa.

Dr. K. J. Srinivasa, speaking during a virtual media briefing, assured that the 500,000 doses of vaccines for the Caribbean region will be all donations rather than commercial supplies.

“Guyana will get its figures in a couple of days, we are on it as we speak,” he said.

With Barbados and Dominica’s vaccines already dispatched, the High Commissioner said the vaccines are being distributed to the regional countries on a first come first serve basis.

“Indian sees international cooperation in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic as a duty and we have undertaken to supply our vaccine to countries… we are in fact the first responders in the region,” the High Commissioner added.

He also said Monday that Guyana would also get access to more vaccines from India, particularly the highly effective COVAXIN vaccine being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL).

During the virtual media engagement on Monday, the High Commissioner was joined by Director of BBIL, Suchitra Ella.

The details of the COVAXIN vaccine has already been sent to Guyana’s Ministry of Health. The health officials are now in contact with BBIL to procure vaccines.

As Ella explained, with storage temperatures set at 2-8 degrees Celsius, the vaccine is good for countries like Guyana with remote areas.

An efficacy trial was recently completed on the two doses COVAXIN vaccine with data expected by March.

COVAXIN has already received emergency use authorization in India for use by all first responders of the medical community.

With six vaccines produced in India, the country is looking to produce some 800 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and has already gifted some six million to 15 countries across the world.

Guyana has also received a pledge of 22,000 vaccine does from China and will procure some 104,000 through the COVAX facility and another 149,000 through the CARICOM/ African Union agreement.

The government remains in talks with other bilateral partners and has promised that all vaccines will be administered free of charge to all Guyanese starting with frontline workers, the elderly, and persons with comorbidities.

 

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