Guyana in talks with Johnson & Johnson to acquire COVID-19 vaccines

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As the country continues to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Guyana Government continues to approach various bilateral partners and manufacturers to acquire more vaccines for its population.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony says one of the latest entities approached was Johnson and Johnson, an American multinational corporation.

“Last week we had some discussions with Johnson and Johnson to explore the possibility of accessing the vaccine from that particular company. So, we are still engaged in talks with different manufacturers of vaccines and as those talks mature, we will let the public know,” the Minister explained during his daily COVID-19 update.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.3 per cent.

Guyana has so far received vaccines from Sputnik V through Russia; AstraZeneca through India and a donation from Barbados as well as under the COVAX mechanism, and Sinopharm from China.

Dr Anthony explained that so far, they have been able to administer the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to over 60,172 persons.

The Health Minister says, based on reports, no one has experienced any adverse side effect from the vaccines. He along with his wife Dr Shanti Singh recently got inoculated with the Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia.

“I didn’t have any side effects. My wife did not have any side effects as well. Different people will react differently to vaccines. Most of the side effects is basically a reaction one would expect. From the vaccines that we have given so far, people would complain about fever, chills, pain at the site of injection and so forth,” he said.

Additionally, the Minister said that they are working with local leaders and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) to have persons on their constituencies vaccinated. He explained that is so because not a lot of persons are willing to go to Health Centres to take the jab.

“We also have mobile sites or pop-up sites where organisations within the community, whether it is religious or civic organisations, who want to partner with the ministry they would come make a request and we would work with them…generally they would use public facilities within the community that is quite accessible so that we get people immunized within the heart of the community and that is a good thing because we got good response this way,” Dr Anthony said.