The Government of Guyana this morning accepted a gift of 80,000 doses of the Astrozeneca Coronavirus vaccine from the Government of India.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, and the Indian High Commissioner Dr. K.J. Srinivasa were at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to receive the vaccines early this morning.
According to the Department of Public Information, the Prime Minister said the vaccines will see the continuation of Phase Two of the Government’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phase One saw measures being put in place to boost the health care facilities to deal with the spread, tracing, and treatment of persons who contracted COVID-19.
Phase Two deals with the vaccination of persons with the frontline workers being the first to be vaccinated. The elderly, Joint Services, and teachers will be targeted next, according to the statement.
“If you have the vaccine it means you can be guarded against dying from COVID-19, you may contract the virus, but because you have the vaccine it can prevent you from dying from COVID-19″, the PM said.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony noted that Guyana is currently in discussions with the Government of India and other partners to procure more vaccines.
“Indeed, we have been looking at other opportunities to procure more vaccines. With the vaccine we currently have, we have about 100,000 now and that will help us to immunize at least about 50,000 people. And so, this is not going to be enough and so definitely we have to be able to procure more vaccines,” Dr. Anthony said.
He noted that Guyana is also set to receive more than 100,000 vaccines shortly through the COVAX facility.
Indian High Commissioner Dr. Srinivasa said the donation further strengthens the relationship between Guyana and India. He said as of March 1, India has provided 36.37 million vaccines to 35 countries and the UN health workers and peacekeepers.