Rush for Sputnik V second dose as 84,000 people due
- more doses expected in coming weeks
By Vishani Ragobeer
Some 84,000 people are due for their second dose of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine and hundreds of people rushed to get these doses when the distribution began on Wednesday morning at several vaccination sites across Guyana.
At the Ministry of Health vaccination site at Brickdam, Georgetown, 50-year-old Satyadev Singh stood in line since 06:30 hrs, just so that he could guarantee that he would receive this second dose before supplies run out.
He has been due for his second dose of this vaccine since about June 1, one month after he took his second dose. The dosing interval between the first and second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine was eventually extended to about 12 weeks but even with that timeframe, small, irregular shipments of the vaccines meant that Singh often missed out.
“I was very concerned because I wasn’t really safe because I wasn’t vaccinated fully and now I feel more comfortable,” Singh told the News Room just after he received his second dose on Wednesday at Brickdam.
Singh and a number of other people were able to receive their second dose following the arrival of a shipment of 50,000 second doses on Monday night.
And, Singh sought to encourage other Guyanese to get vaccinated, stating: “When you look at the deaths in Guyana, most of them not vaccinated… I don’t know if it gonna prevent you from the sick, but it can help you avoid it.”
During an interview with the News Room on Wednesday, Advisor to the Ministry of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy revealed that as of last Monday, there were 84,000 Guyanese who took their first dose of the Sputnik V but were awaiting the second dose.
“50,000 would drastically, dramatically reduce the number of persons who must receive the second dose in order not to have their time elapse,” he said. And, according to Dr Ramsammy, this means that another 50,000 would be fully vaccinated and thus, protected against COVID-19.
Importantly, too, Dr. Ramsammy said that the local health authorities are expecting another shipment of the second doses of these vaccines in about two weeks’ time.
While there were scores of persons rushing for this Sputnik V vaccine, the rollout of the vaccines was not without its challenges.
At the Georgetown Public Hospital, there was another long line of people and one man, who did not wish to provide his name, complained that people were not able to receive their jabs in a timely manner and were forced to stand in the hot sun for hours.