Almost 50% of Guyana’s adult population receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Guyana’s Health Ministry has been making strides since commencing the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, reported on Monday that 49.9% of the adult population has received their first dose of either the Russian-made Sputnik V, Oxford AstraZeneca, or Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.

This translates to 242,991 persons.

On the other hand, 128,252 persons, or 26.3% of the population is considered fully vaccinated, having received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are currently over 100 fixed vaccination sites across the country with the Ministry of Health working along with non-governmental organisations and faith-based groups to host special vaccination outreaches.

Further, Dr. Anthony reported that with vaccination numbers looking up in Guyana and across the globe, the government is considering adding vaccination as a requirement for entry into the country.

“We are currently reviewing our protocol and we have a team that is currently reviewing that based on people now getting vaccinated to see how we can do both PCR and vaccination as a requirement,” the Health Minister explained.

As it stands, Guyana’s travel requirements mandate that a person must submit a negative molecular biological polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival.

If the PCR test is more than 72 hours, the traveller will be required to do a second PCR test on arrival to Guyana.

Currently, the country only accepts the PCR test despite other countries accepting the antigen test, deemed the “gold standard.”

“The reason being is that antigen testing, they are not as sensitive as the PCR. With PCR testing, if somebody is positive, you can know within a short period of time, but with antigen, it takes a long time, people generally will have to be symptomatic before you see a positive result,” Dr. Anthony explained.

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