50,000 second doses of Sputnik here; rollout to begin ‘right away’
A shipment of 50,000 second doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Monday night, according to two reliable sources at the Ministry of Health.
The distribution of these vaccines is expected to begin “right away” as efforts are already being made to distribute batches to each administrative region, a senior official at the ministry told the News Room on Tuesday.
The News Room also sought confirmation from the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, but those efforts were futile.
With these 50,000 doses, people who already received their first dose of Sputnik V would be able to complete the vaccine’s dosing requirement. Dr. Anthony previously revealed that approximately 80,000 persons are awaiting their second dose of this vaccine. Many have been waiting for months.
It was only on Friday that President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that he has been applying pressure on Russian authorities to ensure that Guyana gets a steady supply of the second doses of the Sputnik V vaccines it has ordered amid a global shortage.
“Every night I’m personally on the phone directly dealing with this and talking with the Russian Ambassador and every stakeholder,” the President said in response to a question from the News Room.
Noting that it was an important part of his agenda, the Head of State announced a shipment of second doses within the next seven days but did not say how many doses are expected to arrive.
Meanwhile, it was initially reported that the second dose of the vaccine had to be given within 21 days. The Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine, subsequently stated that it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots to 90 days (about 12 weeks).