GEORGETOWN, 13 August 2021 – Guyana received 57,600 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 globally. Representatives to receive the COVAX vaccine were Hon. Frank Anthony Minister of Health, Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Representative, Irfan Akhtar, Deputy Representative for Guyana and Surname, Her Excellency Jane Miller Obe, British High Commissioner, His Excellency Mark Berman Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Sarah-Ann Lynch, US Ambassador and Fernando Ponz Canto Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana.
This third delivery from the COVAX Facility adds to the first and the second shipment of 24 000 and 38,400 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, received on 29 January and 10 May, which completed the allocated amount of 100,800, specified by COVAX. Guyana is one of ten countries in Latin America and the Caribbean receiving vaccines at no cost through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Thirty-eight thousand four hundred doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is the third shipment received, from the 100,800 doses that COVAX allocated to Guyana, and France donated 19,200 doses. The vaccines arrived today at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown.
This new shipment of COVID-19 vaccines will strengthen Guyana’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, which is open to all eligible adults - 18 years and up. Guyana has vaccinated 58% of the adult population, of which 30% are fully vaccinated, to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.
Guyana is happy to receive these 57,600 doses of vaccines. The Government of Guyana would like to thank COVAX, which constitutes CEPI, GAVI, WHO, the UN system, and all the donor countries, especially the United States, to assist the low and middle-income countries in getting access to vaccines.
Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, Guyana, said, “other countries are having challenges with receiving the vaccines; we in Guyana, we don’t have that challenge because of our friends. We have vaccines for every single adult in Guyana. So, anybody who wants to get their vaccines and is over the age of 18 has a vaccine ready for you. We have enough.”
Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana, said, “the large majority of the beds in the ICU are taken by people who are not vaccinated. We strongly recommend taking the shots. The vaccines are safe. Guyana has the advantage of receiving the vaccines and should be receiving 100,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in September”.
UNICEF Representative in Guyana, Irfan Akhtar, “Guyana is far ahead than many countries in terms of vaccinating the people. The vaccines are the only hope to end this pandemic. It is our responsibility to make sure our families are safe, and our children are safe. Everybody for vaccines and vaccines for all, so no one should be left behind”.
Sarah-Ann Lynch said, “We are pleased that Guyana is one of the countries to receive vaccines under the plan announced by President Biden this month to donate 80 million doses of vaccine around the world”.
British High Commissioner, HE Jane Miller, Canadian High Commissioner, HE Mark Berman, and Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana Fernando Ponz Canto also attended the Handing over ceremony.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organizations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others. The Advance Market Commitment is funded through the generosity of governments, private sector, philanthropic and multilateral partners.