Guyana receives timely donation of paediatric COVID vaccines from U.S

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The Guyana Government on Tuesday received 52,800 doses of the Pfizer special (paediatric) COVID-19 children’s vaccines from the U.S Government through COVAX – a facility to ensure global access to vaccines.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony dubbed the arrival of the special (paediatric) vaccines in the country as timely, explaining that the previous batch that arrived from Spain finished just over a week ago.

The vaccines were handed over at the Ministry of Health’s Kingston bond where Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S Embassy, Adrienne Galanek and Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) representative, Ranier Escalada were present along with Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony.

“At the end of July all our pediatric vaccines came to an end and we were really out of vaccines so this is really timely so we can restart our pediatric programme.”

“This came in at the right moment,” Dr Anthony said.

He explained that the programme was paused for a few days.

The Pfizer special (pediatric) COVID-19 children’s vaccines

According to the Health Minister, the ministry through PAHO’s assistance has been able to get a number of health treatments and medications available for the public.

Escalada said PAHO is committed to assisting Guyana and “it is an honour to be able to facilitate the arrival of these vaccines in Guyana, through the support of the PAHO revolving fund for vaccine.”

“We remain committed to this endeavor,” he added.

Dr Anthony thanked both the US government and PAHO for this timely arrival of the vaccines for children. The vaccines arrived on Friday.

He further noted that “we have been able to administer over 6,000 first doses and children are coming back for their second doses.”

He added that in Region Nine the vaccination uptake for the ages five to 11 cohort has been really good. “We see a lot of children [in communities] coming out to take their vaccines.”

“I am very hopeful that we can get other communities to come out and get their vaccine,” the Health Minister said.

Danah Shiwgobin, a 12-year-old student of the St. Stanislaus College, receiving her second Pfizer jab (Photo: News Room/September 16, 2021)

Previously there was hesitancy by hinterland communities to take these vaccines. However, the minister recently announced that these persons are showing up for their shots.

Meanwhile, Galanek said, “We are so happy to be here providing the lifesaving vaccines.” She said that the US is committed to providing vaccines to aid Guyana in halting the spread of infections.

“It is part of our overall Untied States Government commitment to providing vaccines for a safe and healthy world,” the US Embassy Deputy Chief added.

Thus far, the US has donated 354,660 vaccines to Guyana through a partnership with the Ministry of Health, she said.

The roll out of the special COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five to 11 commenced back in June after 52,800 doses of the special (pediatric) Pfizer vaccines were gifted from Spain.

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