80,000 waiting to be vaccinated with second dose Sputnik
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday revealed that approximately 80,000 persons are awaiting their second dose of the Russian made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Anthony responded to questions during his daily COVID-19 update about halting the rollout of the first dose of this vaccine until persons can get up to date with their second dose.
But the Health Minister made it clear that Guyana will not cease administering the first dose Sputnik as he urged people to get vaccinated.
The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two doses; initially, the second dose vaccines had to be given within 21 days. However, the Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine, in a press statement issued in May this year, said it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots to 90 days.
Dr Anthony on Tuesday said that the Russian Direct Investment Fund advised in July that you can prolong the interval for up to 100 days.
“Indeed a lot of people have taken the first dose of Sputnik and we have some issues with getting the second dose; [it’s not] just a local issue, it’s a global issue.
“Right now we have about 80,000 as you said remaining to be vaccinated and we are hoping we will be able to resolve that shortly,” Dr Anthony stated.
He said the government is working to get the second dose soon.
Due to delayed shipping and global shortages of the vaccine, persons who took their first dose have been waiting for more than three months to get their second dose.
The government had initially ordered 400,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine; of this amount, Guyana received 244, 268 first doses and 61, 268 second doses.
A second order of 86,000 vaccines was subsequently made including 43, 000 first doses and 43, 000 second doses. On July 26, Guyana received 10,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines; this was followed by a weekly shipment of 5,000 doses.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony said the adolescent immunization programme is going well. To date, 18, 862 children between 12 and 18 received their first dose of the US-made Pfizer vaccine. This accounts for 25.9 per cent of persons in this age group.
It was also revealed that fixed vaccination sites for the Pfizer vaccine will be established in all regions shortly.
In terms of the vaccination campaign for adults, 65.7 per cent received their first dose and 34.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Additionally, the Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccine commenced rollout in Region Eight; this will be followed by Regions Seven, Nine and One.