10,000 Sputnik V second doses arrive; rollout continues from Tuesday
A shipment of 10,000 second doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines for COVID-19 arrived in Guyana on Monday morning, Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, has confirmed.
During his daily COVID-19 update on Monday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said that from Tuesday, the local health authorities would continue its rollout of the second doses of the Sputnik V vaccines.
He said that the people who received their first doses of this vaccine in April and May would be eligible for the second doses of the vaccine. And, he said that eligible people can visit any of the vaccination sites, nationwide.
The News Room was reliably informed that the rollout of this second dose, specifically, was resuming since the country received another shipment of the vaccines early Monday morning.
This was later confirmed by the Advisor.
Earlier in July, following weeks of delayed shipments of the second doses of this vaccine, the Ministry of Health had been able to secure a shipment of the vaccines.
When the distribution of those second doses got underway then, the Health Minister said that priority would be given to those individuals who received their first dose of this vaccine in April.
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.
Due to this extended dosing schedule, the second doses are being administered to those individuals who are approaching the 12-week mark.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the Health Minister also called for persons who took their AstraZeneca vaccines to visit the vaccination sites so that they can get their second dose and become better protected from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
He also said that the Ministry of Health has first and second doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine available.
Overall, some 246,716 individuals, or 50.7 per cent of the targeted adult population, have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while some 130,429 people, or 26.8 per cent of the population, received both their first and second doses.
The Minister related that there has been a slowdown in vaccination uptake, but encouraged all persons to get vaccinated so that they can be protected from the more severe and life-threatening symptoms associated with COVID-19.