Johnson and Johnson could be given as two-dose vaccine- Health Minister


Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday announced that the government is considering whether the single dose Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine should be given as a two-dose regimen instead.

This, the Health Minister explained, is being done to boost the protection offered by the vaccine against the new variant of the novel coronavirus, called the Omicron variant.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

Back in October, the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for a second dose of the J&J vaccine two months after the first shot would have been administered.

While government was aware of the recommendation, the Health Minister had said that the J&J vaccine would remain a single dose, until now.

“We in Guyana, we would certainly review the technical information that is emerging…and see whether or not we would need to change our recommendations,” the Minister said in his daily COVID-19 update on Monday.

Currently, if someone had received the single J&J, they would be considered fully vaccinated some two weeks after.

Over the past few weeks, the Health Ministry started offering a second shot as a booster dose, to enhance the protection an individual would receive from the single dose.

Now, however, what the Health Ministry is considering is changing the administration of the J&J vaccine to a double-dose vaccine.

That means, when an individual gets their first dose they would be required to return for the second dose after a specified period of time- some two months- has elapsed.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the possibility of developing a blood clot with the J&J vaccine. The Health Minister, however, said that such occurrences are “extremely rare” and encouraged persons to get vaccinated.

Guyana’s vaccination numbers continue to climb. The Minister reported that thus far 408,838 adults (79.1 percent) have received first doses, while 290,688 (56.7 percent) have received both doses and are therefore fully vaccinated.

In the 12 to 17 age category, 30,028 (41.2 percent) have received first doses, while 21,309 (29.2 percent) are fully vaccinated. Additionally, 9,156 booster doses have been administered.

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