-Pharmacist first beneficiary of COVID-19 vaccine in Guyana
As Guyana continues to grapple with the negative effects of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), relevant authorities have commenced the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the first beneficiary being a Pharmacist attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Brinnet Bernarai is the first citizen to benefit from this vaccine as the country continues its COVID immunization today (Thursday).
Several other frontline workers at the GPHC and the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, are expected to receive the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine before the end of the day.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to officially list the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use today.
On Wednesday (yesterday), Guyana received its first donation of some 3,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from Barbados.
According to the Guyanese government, 1, 400 frontline health workers will bnefit from these vaccines. Each worker will be required to take two (2) doses; the second (2nd) will be administered four (4) to 12 weeks after the first (1st).
According to Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, his Government’s goal is to ensure “herd immunity” but this will only be possible if 80 percent or more of the population is vaccinated.
He pointed out that the COVID immunization process began at the GPHC in light of the fact that this medical facility functioned as the epicenter for infected persons therefore putting health workers there “more at risk.”
It is expected that some 22,000 healthcare workers are to be vaccinated.
The Minister also committed to ensuring that health care workers employed in the private sector also receive vaccines and that the administration is presently working on procuring more of the much needed vaccines.
To date, the country has already secured a donation of 22,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China and another 104,000 does of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility.
Additionally, Guyana will receive another 149,000 through the African Union/ CARICOM agreement and is currently in talks with India for additional vaccines.