Guyana delaying shipment of COVID vaccines to prevent spoilage
In order to prevent the spoilage of COVID-19 vaccines, Guyana has been delaying shipments until the country is sure that the vaccines will be utilised, Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony related to the News Room on Tuesday.
Guyana has been receiving thousands of vaccines but the authorities here are still complaining about the low uptake in the jabs being administered.
“What we are doing is we are pacing how much we accept, and again, if we think that we are not using them fast enough, what we have been doing is delaying the shipment so we don’t take vaccine and waste them,” Dr Anthony told the News Room.
On Tuesday, the United States government donated a total of 12, 870 adult Pfizer vaccines to Guyana. The vaccines were handed over at the ministry’s Kingston, Georgetown bond and brought the total number of vaccines donated to Guyana from the US to 301,860.
The country is expecting another 50,000 doses next week and within a month or two, another 50,000 is scheduled to arrive.
Dr Anthony noted that Guyana has done extremely well with the rollout of the first dose but the second and booster doses continue to lag despite public campaigns to get persons vaccinated.
“Right now, I think most people in Guyana need to be boosted so we want to encourage them to come and get their booster shots.
“A lot of people felt that because you have two doses, you don’t need to get a booster dose,” Dr Anthony said.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, said the US will continue to support Guyana’s fight in the ongoing pandemic.
“We have been at this now for almost two years and we have worked very closely on all phases of the pandemic here in Guyana,” she said.
She too encouraged persons to get vaccinated, noting that “having the vaccine does not mean getting vaccinated, so we encourage persons to come out and get your shots.”
The United States has also donated over US$793,500 to Guyana in COVID-19-related assistance, from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense.