A medic shows a vial of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Yangon, Myanmar, after the country received 1.5 million doses of the vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Shwe Paw Mya Tin

Republished from https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Guyana received 80,000 doses of the “Covishield” Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India on Sunday.

The vaccines arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport early this morning and were received by Prime Minister Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips and others.

According to India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K. J. Srinivasa, who was also present, India does not expect anything from Guyana in return.

“India sees these donations as ‘vaccine maitri’ meaning ‘vaccine friendship’…..I want to stress here that India donates these vaccines with nothing in demand [from] the country. We do not ask for any quid pro quos. India is donating the vaccines in a spirit of collaboration, in a spirit of friendship, and in a spirit of helping our friends to acquire these vaccines across the world.”

As part of its vaccine maitri initiative, India has been donating thousands of the Covishield vaccine doses to countries across the world.

“These 80,000 doses are significant of the depth of our friendly relations with Guyana; it also shows our commitment to the world as a first responder,” Srinivasa noted, highlighting India’s research and pharmaceutical capacity.

He also emphasized that the donation is another testimony to the strong bilateral relations between both countries.

The donation from India will be able to offer protection to 40,000 Guyanese and according to the health ministry, frontline health workers will be the first to receive the vaccines, followed by the elderly, other frontline workers, and teachers.

Some 570,000 doses of the vaccine are earmarked for distribution across the Caribbean region alone.

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