The Government of Guyana, this morning received a total of 24,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility. The vaccines arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Monday morning.
This is the first allocation of vaccines Guyana has received through COVAX.
Dr. Leslie Ramsammy Advisor to the Minister of Health, offered breif remarks at the presentation ceremony, that these vaccines would boost Guyana’s COVID-19 immunization campaign.
He stated, “the Government will invest whatever is necessary so that every citizen in our country and every one resident in our country, including those migrants, are vaccinated against COVID 19.”
He said teams have been dispatched to the East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) to visit the homes of people physically unable to visit the vaccination sites.
To date, more than 31,ooo persons have been vaccinated.
In addition to expanding the vaccination exercise to include persons ages 40 years and older, the Ministry would be administering the second doses to those who received their first shot a few weeks ago.
Dr. Ramsammy also expressed gratitude to COVAX for the vaccines.
Dr. Luis Felipe Codina – Pan American Health Organization Representative in Guyana, pledged to provide support to combat Covid-19. He said the procurement of the vaccines was made possible through collaboration with several international agencies.
“There is a lot of partners working in this not only us here at the table, but a lot of partners working. This first delivery of 24,000 doses will be complemented by 82 to 84,000 that will arrive between April and May.”
Additionally, acting UNICEF Representative, Mr. Irfan Akhtar says the arrival of the vaccines is one step towards ensuring greater access.
“We should ensure no one is left behind. This means there should be equitable distribution of vaccines in different regions, especially those regions which are hard to reach.”
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Mr. Malcolm Watkins, UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Ms. Mikiko Tanaka and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union Mr. Fernando Ponz Cantó also attended today’s handover.
The Government is currently pursuing a strategy to vaccinate at least 10,000 persons per day.
Guyana is also expected to receive 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia soon.