25,000 doses of J&J vaccines expected this week as supplies run low

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Guyana is expected to receive a shipment of 25,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine later this week.

This comes as Guyana’s COVID-19 booster programme is becoming constrained by the limited amount of J&J vaccines in the country.

On Friday, the News Room visited three vaccination sites in Georgetown and was informed that there were limited or no J&J vaccines.  Subsequently, the News Room received reliable information that Guyana has a shortage of this specific vaccine.

“Right now, we are a bit low on the J&J vaccine…because a lot of people wanna get their booster doses,” the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony confirmed on Monday during his daily COVID-19 update.

Importantly, though, he said that Guyana is expected to receive another batch of these vaccines from the COVAX facility a bit later this week.

These J&J vaccines are given as a single dose but are also used as a booster (third dose) for people who received both doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. Dr. Anthony also explained that it allows people vaccinated with Sputnik to travel easier since that vaccine has not yet been granted emergency use authorisation by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A total of 17,461 adults have taken their booster dose so far; that also includes AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sinopharm doses. Comparatively, some 300,171 individuals have taken both their first and second COVID-19 doses.

With the demand for the J&J vaccine growing, Dr. Anthony pointed out that an advisory body has stated that people who have been vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine can also get the Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose.

“… therefore we have adjusted the schedule to allow the staff to be able to give that Pfizer dose as a booster dose,” he said.

Meanwhile, even though the J&J vaccine has been traditionally given as a single dose vaccine, Dr. Anthony says that the Health Ministry is advising people to return two months after getting that vaccine for a second dose.

This second dose would be considered a booster dose.

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