The Ministry of Health has reduced the use of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 as more persons opt for the other brands of vaccines that are available.
The Sputnik vaccine is still to receive the approval of the World Health Organisation. Several countries including some in the Caribbean, do not recognize the vaccine for travel purposes and that has forced some already vaccinated persons planning to travel to get revaccinated.
Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony revealed today that with the availability of other brands of vaccines in Guyana, more persons have been turning away from the Sputnik brand. He said the Ministry of Health has acknowledged the issue and is therefore administering the other brands more.
“We have now eased off from the Sputnik Vaccine but we do have for the persons who got their first dose, for them to get their second dose. But persons have been coming back requesting boosters that are different, so we have been giving that” Minister Anthony told reporters.
The Sputnik vaccine was widely administered in Guyana with more than 200,000 persons being fully vaccinated with Sputnik. During the height of the pandemic last year, it was the only vaccine readily available, but since then, Guyana has been able to procure other vaccines.
Now persons can access the Pfizer vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as their booster vaccines if they were administered Sputnik.
“Most people are now not requesting that. So, most people when they either want to get Pfizer or a J&J and so we have been administering that” Minister Anthony added.
The Health Minister made it clear that the Sputnik vaccine is still safe. He said those persons who were administered the first dose, need to return to their clinics or the Ministry of Health for the second dose.
“While we encourage people to get the first dose, we also want those who have gotten their first dose to make sure they come and get the second dose because the process is not completed unless you get both doses and then even with both doses now, after about five months you really need to get the booster” Minister Antony also noted.
Almost 85% of Guyana’s adult population has been administered the first dose of one of the CVID-19 vaccines while 64% of the country’s adult population is now fully vaccinated.