No need for COVID test before getting the vaccine

- Guyana surpasses 130,000 vaccinations

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Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, has highlighted that there is no need for an individual to get a COVID-19 test before visiting a vaccination site to get immunised with one of the three COVID-19 vaccines used in Guyana.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, the Health Minister explained that the typical signs of COVID-19 include losing one’s sense of taste and/or smell, and flu-like symptoms, such as having a cough and fever.

Since these symptoms indicate that an individual may be COVID-19 positive, adequate screening is supposed to be done at the vaccination sites before the vaccine is administered.

And, the Health Minister highlighted, “We don’t want to give you a vaccine if you’re positive, we’ll prefer for you to recover from the disease before giving you the vaccines.”

Previously, Dr Anthony said that people who recovered from COVID-19– but have not received any COVID-19 vaccines as yet- are advised to wait about six months before taking the vaccines. For people who were infected after receiving their first dose, he said that they would be able to get their second dose as soon as they have recovered.

Already, local health authorities have been able to administer the first dose of one of the three COVID-19 vaccines to 132,739 people or about 27 per cent of the adult population, according to Dr Anthony.

Moreover, 3,760 people have received their second dose and should be fully vaccinated. All three of the vaccines used locally: the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik V are administered in two doses.

Outside of the concerns about whether people could get tested before getting vaccinated, the Health Minister also said that the large number of cases Guyana has been consistently recording is attributed to the large-scale testing done by local public and private health authorities.

The recommended COVID-19 tests used are the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is the gold standard and antigen (rapid) testing. Only positive results yielded from the PCR test, however, are added to the total of new cases published on the Health Ministry’s daily COVID-19 dashboard. If a positive result is yielded from an antigen test, a PCR test is done subsequently for verification.

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