Last updated on Friday, 8 January 2021, 17:01 by Denis Chabrol
The Ministry of Health on the 19-member COVID-19 National Vaccine Task Force Pridat named a broad group in preparation for reaching and rolling out the immunization campaign against coronavirus disease in Guyana.
The Task Force is chaired by the Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, who revealed that the organization has already been tasked with developing a training manual on how to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and the procurement process for cold storage facilities and its distribution has already begun.
“We want to make sure we are ready for the introduction of vaccines, so they will look at our readiness and work on a vaccine readiness and delivery plan, then, of course, making sure all the sites where there are vaccines’ n given already, ”said the Minister.
“They will have to make sure that all the elements of vaccine use are in place. I would imagine, from the Vaccines Task Force, that we would have several sub-committees that would carry out specific tasks, ”added Dr. Anthony.
The first meeting of the COVID-19 National Vaccine Task Force took place today (January 08) in the boardroom of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Members have agreed to convene every Friday to discuss the strategic action plan to monitor the delivery of a safe, effective and efficient Vaccination Program.
The Head of the Vaccines Task Force is This Health Minister. Frank Anthony and includes representatives from several departments in the Ministry of Health, COVID-19 National Task Force, other Government agencies, and the private sector.
In making the appointments, Dr explained. Anthony stated that a deliberate decision was made to appoint members with specific skill sets, as required for any national immunization program in general, but more importantly given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic specifically.
“Members are public service professionals who are familiar with immunization programs, cold storage operations and medical supply chains, as well as private sector representatives who have been trained in vaccination campaigns and who understand the expectations, and thus representing a diverse mix of people who have been quoted the required expertise and commitment to this national effort in response to COVID-19, ”he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Ministry of Health.
The Chair and members of the COVID-19 Vaccines Task Force are as follows:
1. Health Minister – Dr. Frank Anthony (Chair)
2. Adviser to the Health Minister – Dr. Leslie Ramsammy
3. Chief Medical Officer – Dr. Narine Singh
4. Director General of Regional Health Services – Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo
5. Director of Primary Healthcare Services – Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton (Secretary)
6. Deputy Director of Regional Health Services – Dr. Veronica Griffith
7. Director of Surveillance Unit – Ms Sasha Walrond
8. Director of the Food and Drug Analyst Department – Dr. Marlan Cole
9. Officer in Charge of Health Communication – Ms Shabana Shaw
10. Team of Immunologists – services for external access when required
11. Joint Services Representative – Mr. Clifton Hicken
12. Guyana Finance Authority Representative – Mr. Lance Wills
13. Representative from PAHO / WHO – Dr. Luis Codina
14. UNICEF Representative – Mr. Irfan Akhtar
15. Cold Chain Technician – Mr. John Ramotar
16. Pharmacist – Dr. Karishma Jeeboo
17. Private Health Sector Representative – Dr. Malika Mootoo
18. Representative from the Attorney General’s Office – Ms Joann Bond
19. Representative from the Ministry of Local Government – Ms Prema Roopnarine