Guyana approves vaccines from Russia, China for emergency use


The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) has granted emergency use approval of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

This is according to Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony who said authorities examined three methods before approving the vaccines.

“The first is if the vaccine has been improved by what is called a stringent regulatory authority, so when we talk about stringent regulatory authorities we are talking about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, in Canada, in the UK, in Australia and in Europe…once it has been approved by these authorities, then we would use the principle of reciprocity to be able to approve it here in Guyana,” he explained.

Another factor taken into consideration was whether the vaccine was approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). So far, the WHO has only approved two vaccines: the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The Health Minister said WHO is expected to soon approve the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines.

The third method for approving vaccines is to see whether it has been approved by large countries in the South American and Caribbean region.

The efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% and it is one of the only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%. The Sinopharm vaccine has an efficacy of 79.4%.

Guyana has already granted emergency use approval for the AstraZeneca vaccine from India. A batch of the vaccines was donated by the Government of Barbados and it has already been used to vaccinate some 2000 frontline healthcare workers.