Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony announced today that first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are no longer available as government will now use the remaining batch of this vaccine as second doses.
The first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines are the same formula and when government had purchased this type of vaccine, they had set aside 50% as first doses while the remainder was for second doses.
Now, the first doses have been depleted and therefore, the AstraZeneca vaccines will no longer be available for first-timers.
“We are no longer giving the AstraZeneca vaccine as first dose, the remaining doses that we have, we are now using that to give people their second dose of the vaccine,” Dr Anthony explained.
“We have just given out half of what we have as the first dose and that is why now we are no longer giving the AstraZeneca vaccines as first dose. The remaining doses that we have, we are now using to give people their second dose of the vaccine,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister is encouraging persons to take their second doses of the AstraZeneca.
“Those persons who are now four weeks to twelve weeks after their first dose or anytime between that, they can come back and get their second dose AstraZeneca.”
When asked if Guyana is expected to receive more of the AstraZeneca vaccines, the Health Minister said efforts are underway to procure more vaccines for the population. While he did not make specific mention of the AstraZeneca shots, Dr Anthony indicating that more Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are coming in.
For first doses, the only available vaccines in Guyana for adults are Sinopharm and Sputnik V as well as the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is being administered to children between the ages of 12 and 18.
As of today, 357,208, adults received their first dose of a Covid vaccine which represents 69.6 per cent of the adult population, while 185,872 or 36.3 per cent have been fully immunised.
For children, 23,664 within the ages of 12 to 17 have received a vaccine.