Guyana on Friday received a donation of 28, 800 doses of the Jannsen Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccines from the Government of Spain, through COVAX.
Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, expressed gratitude to the Spanish Government, COVAX, and all countries that have contributed along the way.
“We are very lucky in Guyana, to be able to access so many vaccines and through COVAX, we have had a very good partnership and over the last couple of months we have benefitted tremendously from COVAX in getting vaccines to Guyana,” Dr. Anthony said.
Through COVAX, Guyana has benefitted from donations of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Minister Anthony noted that through the donations and vaccines purchased by the government, vaccination has been made available for everyone in Guyana.
Currently, the first dose vaccination rate is approximately 81 percent, while the second dose is close to 60 percent.
“We want to encourage everyone that they go and get their booster doses. We have been a little short of Johnson and Johnson, so this comes really at a very appropriate time. I think this week I was told we had about 200 doses in Georgetown, and we have some 2000 doses out in the region. So, we were very much looking forward to getting this particular shipment of vaccines, and now that it has arrived, I’m sure it would boost our effort to make sure that we get more vaccines out, especially the booster doses to people who need them,” Dr. Anthony added.
The minister also noted that compared to the holiday period when about 80 persons were being vaccinated a day, this has now improved to some 3, 000 persons daily.
This is a positive sign, he said, as he encouraged persons to get vaccinated especially children between the ages of 12-17.
Meanwhile, Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union, who also represented the Ambassador of Spain, resident in Trinidad, Fernando Nogales Alvarez, noted that Spain is one of the most active donors in the region.
“It’s very important that there is such a great solidarity and such support for Guyana,” she noted.
She also urged persons to get vaccinated.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now a two-dose regimen and is also being used as a booster shot. Also present at the handing over was Dr. Luis Cardina, PAHO/WHO Representative; Yesim Oruc, United Nations Resident Coordinator; Sarah Ann Lynch, United States Ambassador to Guyana; and Dr. Oneka Scott, Maternal and Child Health Officer and National Immunisation Manager at the Ministry of Health, among others.