The COVID 19 Pandemic continues to devastate the world, both Healthwise and Economically. While we continue to recommend that persons follow the established guidelines of social distancing, handwashing and wearing of masks there is now the additional measure of Vaccines to protect us. Vaccines help us to develop immunity which help us fight off infections.
Recently the issue of using the Sputnik V COVID 19 Vaccine has gained additional attention in the news and social media. This particular Vaccine was the first to be registered and while it is awaiting official approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), the data surrounding its use is reassuring. Many countries (74 to date) have started using this vaccine based on evaluation of the data on safety, efficacy and availability. There is no reason to expect denial of approval for this Vaccine from the WHO and other authorities in the coming weeks. This is the same process that has occurred with all of the other available Vaccines prior to WHO approval where countries have adopted a policy of “USE” pending approval after careful evaluation by their own technical team.
Guyana and its neighbours have the requisite technical expertise to analyze scientific data and make appropriate recommendations to our policymakers. This was the basis for using the various Vaccines in Guyana – Independent technical analysis of Risk versus Benefits.
ALL of the Vaccines available in Guyana, including the Sputnik V, have a 100% record in preventing SEVERE COVID 19 Infection defined as admission to ICU, needing ventilatory support or death. In fact, NONE of the 442 deaths recorded in Guyana were seen in fully (2 doses) Vaccinated persons. There has been NO overwhelming adverse events reported worldwide for ANY of the Vaccines used in Guyana to date.
Every person above the age of 18 is eligible for COVID 19 Vaccines in Guyana, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Persons with a history of SEVERE allergic reactions should seek medical advice before considering the Vaccines and are the ONLY group who may not be medically suitable.
Healthcare workers were among the first to benefit from the Vaccination program in Guyana and this has likely contributed significantly to reducing the adverse outcomes among the fraternity. The Medical Council of Guyana would wish that every Resident of Guyana take advantage of the same protection as frontline workers and therefore urges our people to get vaccinated.
We are of the view that the BEST COVID 19 vaccine to take is the one that you have available right now.