Guyana in talks with Johnson & Johnson to acquire COVID-19 vaccines

As the country continues to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program, the Government of Guyana continues to approach various partners and bilateral manufacturers to procure more vaccines for its population.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony says one of the most recent entities approached was Johnson and Johnson, an American multinational corporation.

“Last week we had some discussions with Johnson and Johnson to explore the possibility of getting the vaccine from that particular company. Therefore, we are still engaged in discussions with various vaccine manufacturers and as those conversations mature, we will keep the public informed, ”the Minister explained during his daily COVID-19 update.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.3 percent.

To date Guyana has received vaccines from Sputnik V through Russia; AstraZeneca through India and donation from Barbados as well as under the COVAX mechanism, and Sinopharm from China.

Dr Anthony explained that to date they have been able to give the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to over 60,172 people.

The Health Minister states that, based on reports, no-one has experienced any harmful side effect of the vaccines. He and his wife Dr Shanti Singh recently vaccinated with the Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia.

“I didn’t experience any side effects. My wife also had no side effects. Different people respond differently to vaccines. Most of the side effects are basically a response that one would expect. From the vaccines we’ve been given so far, people would complain of fever, cold, injection site pain etc, ”he said.

The Minister also said that they are working with local leaders and Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) to get people in their constituencies vaccinated. He explained that this is because not many people are willing to go to Health Centers to take the injection.

“We also have mobile or pop-up websites where community-based organizations, whether religious or civic, want to partner with the ministry they would be applying to and we would work with them. .. they would generally use the public facilities in the community that are quite accessible so that we get people immunized at the heart of the community and that’s a good thing because we got a good response like this, ”said Dr Anthony.