On Friday last (14 January 2022) Guyana received a total of 28,800 Jannsen Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the Government of Spain, through the COVAX initiative.
Accepting the generous donation of vaccines was Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony who expressed gratitude to the Spanish government and the COVAX initiative for the donation. He stated that, “we are very lucky in Guyana, to be able to access so many vaccines and through COVAX, we have had a very good partnership and over the last couple of months we have benefited tremendously from COVAX in getting vaccines to Guyana.”
Among the other vaccines that Guyana has received through the COVAX initiative are donations of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Minister Anthony went on to say that through the donations and vaccines purchased by the government, vaccination has been made available for everyone in Guyana and has continued to urge Guyanese to get vaccinated.
Minister Anthony stated that, “we want to encourage everyone that they go and get their booster doses. We have been a little short of Johnson and Johnson, so this comes really at a very appropriate time. I think this week I was told we had about 200 doses in Georgetown, and we have some 2000 doses out in the region. So, we were very much looking forward to getting this particular shipment of vaccines, and now that it has arrived, I’m sure it would boost our effort to make sure that we get more vaccines out, especially the booster doses to people who need them”.
According to information from the Ministry of Health, the first dose vaccination rate is approximately 81 percent, while the second dose rate is close to 60 percent.
Also present at the handing over exercise was Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union, who also represented the Ambassador of Spain, resident in Trinidad, Fernando Nogales Alvarez. Ms Melbarzde noted that, “it’s very important that there is such a great solidarity and such support for Guyana”.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now a two-dose regimen and is also being used as a booster shot.
Other officials present at the handing over were Dr. Luis Cardina from PAHO/WHO, Yesim Oruc from the United Nations Resident Coordinator, United States Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch, and Dr. Oneka Scott, Maternal and Child Health Officer and National Immunisation Manager at the Ministry of Health, among several others.