… China to give 20,000 more
President Dr Irfaan Ali announced on Saturday that Guyana will receive 3800 COVID-19 vaccines by next month through the COVAX facility – the global procurement mechanism created to increase accessibility.
During a briefing for the nation, the Head of State stated that the first batch will be administered to frontline medical personnel, people with comorbidities and the elderly. Through the COVAX mechanism, Guyana will receive 20 percent of the total vaccines needed to immunize the population at zero cost.
“Last year, Guyana joined COVAX and is now eligible for vaccines for 20 per cent of our population, which will be free of cost. We expect to receive around 3800 vaccines in February and March which will be immediately assigned to our frontline health workers, people with comorbidities, and our elderly, ”informed Ali.
While this mechanism is in place, Guyana is also in talks with the Caribbean Community, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union for the remaining vaccines. China, India and Russia have also engaged. So far, China has already pledged to send 20,000 vaccines once available.
Guyanese was reminded that authorities are being guided by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization in its efforts to keep the population safe. To achieve this goal, the Government is working with multilateral and bilateral partners in direct dialogue with major vaccine manufacturers.
The President added, “Discussions are ongoing and arrangements to procure vaccines from these countries will be finalized very soon. We are also in discussion with the major manufacturers: Pfizer, Biotech, Moderna and AstraZeneca and hope to complete the supply of vaccines from these manufacturers soon. Your Government is fully committed to getting vaccines in the shortest possible time, using every means available to our people. “
He stressed that vaccines will give Guyana a “handle” of the situation but that is not the end of the problem.