With a number of countries, including some in CARICOM, implementing vaccine requirements for arriving passengers with only WHO-approved vaccines being recognized, the Government of Guyana today announced that Guyana will also recognize those vaccines that are still awaiting WHO approval.
The Health Minister today said various vaccines are being accepted for travel to Guyana.
“In terms of the vaccines that we are accepting – because I have heard that in some cases there has been a problem- what we have gazetted, we are accepting at least about eight or nine vaccines and if there is any doubt the airlines can ask for guidance and we will give that guidance,” the Health Minister said.
Last month during his address to the United Nations, President Ali said people’s movement should not be curtailed because of the vaccines they took.
The President said instead of focusing on the vaccines people may have taken, efforts should be directed towards addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting full vaccination of all eligible citizens of the world. The Minister shares a similar view.
“In addition to WHO-approved vaccines, we are of course accepting persons who have Sputnik, there are persons who have been traveling in from Cuba, they have the Somberana vaccine, and we have been accepting those as well,” the Minister explained.
With several countries mandating the WHO vaccines, thousands of Guyanese stand to be affected, since Guyana has been largely using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine which is yet to get WHO approval.
The Russian authorities believe the vaccine will be authorized soon.
“There are some other vaccines that would be coming on stream, so if persons have them and they want to travel, they just need to seek guidance and we will be able to clear that. So, for example, Novax is one of those vaccines that have undergone clinical trial, but they haven’t received WHO approval as yet”, the Health Minister said.
Over 70% of Guyana’s adult population has already received the first dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines and more than 45% of the population is fully vaccinated.