3,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are slated to arrive between February and March
Kaieteur News – Guyana will soon move one step closer to gaining control over the COVID-19 pandemic with a slate of 3,800 vaccines due to arrive in February and March this year. The announcement was made by President Irfaan Ali during his address to the nation yesterday.
The Head of State revealed that Guyana had joined the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) last year, which includes organizations such as the World Health Organization; the Coalition for Epidemic Readiness, Innovation and GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance. The facility’s primary goal is to get lower-income countries to acquire vaccines for at least 20 percent of their population.
As Guyana is eligible for the vaccines under COVAX, they are received free of charge and according to President Ali, upon arrival, the 3,800 doses will be immediately allocated to frontline health workers, people with comorbidities and the elderly.
He further revealed that the Chinese government will give 20,000 doses of vaccines. “The Chinese Government has confirmed that it will provide Guyana with 20,000 doses of vaccines. Discussions are ongoing and arrangements to procure vaccines from these countries will be completed shortly, ”he said.
In delivering his address, the President also sought to assure citizens that they will not be forced to take the vaccine but urged him to take it. To counteract potential fears regarding vaccine safety, Ali lamented that all vaccines arriving would have been approved. “I want you to feel confident, indeed, to feel assured that when the vaccines arrive and we start distributing them they will have the full approval of the World Health Organization and will safely, ”he said.
He added that he will be the first to take the vaccine once he arrives and as the government is constantly working to find more vaccines, officials are also arranging the distribution.
“We are installing and expanding the cold chain infrastructure for the safe storage of vaccines, and personnel are in the process of training to do the job.”
The government announced that it has been preparing cold storage facilities since last December and Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, also said that people were trained to administer the vaccines properly, once they arrived.
He also said that their current goal is to disseminate information regarding COVID-19 to the general population and keep Guyanese up to date.
Also present was the Head of the COVID-19 Task Force, the Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, who encouraged Guyanese to play their part in protecting themselves against the virus.