Gov’t halts administration of first dose AstraZeneca

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The government has halted the administration of the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony revealed on Wednesday.

He explained that of the over 200,000 doses of this vaccine that arrived in the country since February this year, half of that number had to be set aside for second doses.

“…we are no longer giving the AstraZeneca vaccine as first dose, the remaining doses that we have, we are now using that to give people their second dose of the vaccine,” Minister Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update on Thursday.

He said if the government continues administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine then there will be no second doses available.

According to News Room’s data, between February and August, Guyana received approximately 279, 400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX, the UK, India and Barbados.

When questioned whether Guyana is expected to receive more of the AstraZeneca vaccines, the Health Minister said the government is looking at other vaccines.

“In the pipeline, we have a number of vaccines, they include more Pfizer, J&J and some other vaccines we are looking at.”

The remaining vaccines being administered include first and second doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and the Sinopharm along with the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. These three vaccines are available for the adult population while the Pfizer vaccine is being administered to children between the ages of 12 and 18.

To date, 69.6 per cent of the adult population received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 36.3 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

In terms of children, 32.4 per cent have received their first dose vaccine.

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