Second doses of Sputnik V in Guyana; rollout starts on Tuesday

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After weeks of delayed shipments and global shortages due to the emergence of the more infectious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Guyana has finally received another shipment of the second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and will commence distribution from Tuesday.

This was announced by the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, on Monday during his daily COVID-19 update.

The Minister did not state how many doses of this Russian vaccine were received, but stated that another consignment of the second doses is expected to arrive next week also. These vaccines were secured through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) supplier.

When the distribution of these second doses gets underway on Tuesday, the Health Minister said that priority will be given to those individuals who received their first dose of this vaccine in April.

“They are now coming close to that 90-day period and we would like to get those doses,” he explained.

Individuals who received their first dose in subsequent weeks will be scheduled for their second dose accordingly, the Minister said.

Sputnik V, unlike the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, has a second dose that is different from the first dose. Initially, the country had been administering this second dose some four weeks after the first dose, but that has been extended to about 12 weeks now.

This is due to information provided by the Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine. The centre, in a press statement, said it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots from the earlier approved 21 days up to three months.

“If you wait for that 12-week period, the better durability you will get,” the Minister emphasised on Monday.

He also assured members of the public that each individual who received their first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine is guaranteed a second dose of this vaccine.

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