Single-dose ‘Johnson and Johnson’ vaccines expected in August

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Guyana is expected to receive a quantity of the single-dose US-made Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines next month, following the agreement made with the African Union through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

“We have already paid to the African Union to store some Johnson and Johnson vaccines so those would be coming in August,” Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said on Thursday.

In May, Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo revealed that the government has made a down payment of $7.5 million (or US $36,000) to secure 150,000 doses of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine through the African Union.

Unlike the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines that are currently used in the nationwide vaccination rollout, this vaccine requires no “booster” shot.

As such, the 150,000 doses secured can be used to fully immunise 150,000 people against COVID-19. Since it is a single dose vaccine, the Health Minister previously said that it would be more appropriate for use in the hinterland locations, especially in those hard to reach communities.

He explained that in these communities, the health workers have to remove the vaccines from regional storage locations and travel into communities to distribute the vaccines. Weeks later, when the second or booster dose has to be distributed, the health workers have to go through this process again.

The African Union has allocated 1.5 million doses of the US manufactured Johnson & Johnson vaccines to CARICOM and it was expected that the group would receive the first 800,000 doses of the vaccines in July.

Subsequently, it was reported by the Nation News in Barbados that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who is the immediate past Chairman of CARICOM, said that the region would receive another 400,000 doses in August and another 500,000 doses in September.

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