Close to 13,000 persons already vaccinated

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Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy says an estimated 13,000 persons have already received the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said some 60% of those who have been vaccinated are persons aged 60 and older.

The former Health Minister said government is aiming to inoculate 50,000 persons by April 11.

“We are trying that by the 11th of April, that we vaccinate at least 50,000 persons 50 and older. And I know that number is so large, but we are quite capable of doing that,” he said.

“We have now vaccinated close to 13,000 people, and we could have done more, but a lot of people who come you’re sending them back, because we want to focus on the 60 and above. That is anyone who is 60 this year, even if their birthday hasn’t come yet. We are doing them and when couples come, if one of them is 60 and the other is not yet 60 we still do the couple,” he explained.

This week’s target is to vaccinate 10,000 persons. Dr Ramsammy said from Sunday March 14 to Wednesday March 17, over 7,000 persons have been inoculated countrywide.

From next week, the campaign will be opened to individuals aged 50 and above.

Dr Ramsammy also acknowledged that while there are disparities in access to vaccines between rich and poor countries, President Dr Irfaan Ali has taken robust steps to secure vaccines for Guyana.

“We are going to make sure that enough vaccines arrive in the country so we don’t stop, so that we can continue, and even accelerate the pace. The President has said that he will do everything in his power, that money is not a problem that we will find the money to buy vaccines for everyone to be vaccinated this year.”

The Government has already received 103,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the latest being a batch of 80,000 of the AstraZeneca from India. It received 20,000 doses of Sinopharm from the People’s Republic of China and 3,000 of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Barbados.

The Government is awaiting a consignment of 104,000 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, and 149,000 doses under a CARICOM-African Union purchase agreement. Last weekend, President Ali announced that Guyana has ordered 200,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine with the first shipment of 50,000 doses to arrive soon. After the first shipment, the Government expects to receive another 50,000 every two weeks until it has received its full quota.