Govt reviewing vaccination guidelines for Covid survivors

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony

The Ministry of Health is reviewing the timeline for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to persons who have already recovered from Covid.

During yesterday’s COVID-19 update, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony explained that after a person recovers from the disease, their immune systems would still have antibodies used to fight it off. Given the relative scarcity of vaccines globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that those persons hold off on getting their vaccines.

“In resource-poor settings, where vaccines are not readily available, those who have been infected and recovered, are asked to delay getting the vaccine…

“We have been following the WHO guidelines and we are, right now, reviewing some of these guidelines where we can probably lower the amount of time taken after a person would have recovered to administer the vaccine,” Dr. Anthony said.

Minister Anthony said the new guidelines would be published this week. He noted that in places such as the USA and Europe, where vaccines are readily available, this is not the practice.

“What they have been doing is if when you recover, you want to have the vaccine, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the vaccine. So, the vaccine can be administered.”

To date, Guyana has received 103,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. These are the Oxford- AztraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, which were donated by the Governments of Barbados, China and India.

Next week, the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia is expected to arrive. Additionally, the country is expected to receive doses through the COVAX facility soon.

Guyana rolled out its vaccination campaign on February 12, first inoculating frontline health workers before moving to persons 60 years and above. To date, close to 20,000 persons have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.