Not relying on developed nations, Guyana in talks for vaccine-making plant
In a quest to access much-needed lifesaving vaccines without relying on supplies from developed countries, the Government of Guyana has reached out Rwanda and India to strengthen its healthcare services and potentially, manufacture vaccines in the Caribbean.
Vice-President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press briefing on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, said these discussions are in the early stages.
If those talks bear fruit, however, they will ensure regional security for lifesaving vaccines.
“This has been an old issue here about the safety of our people and given what happened in the pandemic. We have been exploring the possibility of regional security with vaccines,” the Vice-President said.
Dr Jagdeo also said those discussions will continue at the government level and the company level.
President Dr Irfaan Ali previously said that Guyana will be seeking to develop the a facility like BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine factory in Kigali, Rwanda. He also encouraged investors in medical research and development to consider developments in the Caribbean.
Already, engagements were held between Guyana and Barbados to work with researchers and developers with the aim of acquiring pharmaceutical equity for global public health.
These efforts, Jagdeo explained, are in response to the challenges encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. That global crisis, he said, highlighted the importance of not only having access to vaccines but in ensuring that every region is vaccine secure.
Additionally, the pandemic highlighted the inequality in the manufacturing of vaccines, pricing and also the distribution.
“The idea is to ensure we have security in the future because you saw what happened during the pandemic. We could not get supplies for people in this part of the world.
“Africa faced the same thing that is why there is a discussion with Rwanda to do the same thing. We can’t rely on the developed world in the future to supply these,” Dr Jagdeo said.
India has assured Guyana of its assistance in establishing a vaccine treatment plant and in building Guyana’s capacity through the training of healthcare professionals.