GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, 14 January 2022 [PAHO] — Guyana today received 28,800 doses of the Janssen Ad26COV2.S vaccine as part of the dose-sharing mechanism. under a project funded by Spain, through the COVAX Mechanism 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.
With this donation, Guyana expects to continue expanding COVID-19 vaccination coverage, which to date is 59.1 %.
"It's very important that there is such a great solidarity and such support for Guyana."
- Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union.
The vaccines, facilitated through PAHO's Revolving Fund, arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on 14 January 2022 and were officially received by the Ministry of Health. Representatives present at the handover ceremony were Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, Guyana, Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Representative, Yesim Oruc, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ray Davidson, Deputy Commissioner, British High Commission, H.E. Sarah Ann Lynch, United States Ambassador, Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union, who also represented the Ambassador of Spain, resident in Trinidad, Fernando Nogales Alvarez and Dr. Oneka Scott, Director (ag) Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health.
The doses will be prioritized for populations determined to be vulnerable based on co-morbidities, access to health services, and ethnic and other socio-cultural determinants of inequities in health.
Since the pandemic, Guyana has reported over 49,056 COVID-19 cases. PAHO has provided support to the country in the design and implementation of vaccination programs, training health care workers to administer COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring the cold chain and other technical aspects necessary for an effective campaign.
"We want to encourage everyone that they go and get their booster doses. We have been a little short of Janssen and Janssen, so this comes really at a very appropriate time. This week, I was told we had about 200 doses in Georgetown, and we have some 2000 doses out in the region. So, we were very much looking forward to getting this particular shipment of vaccines, and now that it has arrived, I'm sure it would boost our effort to make sure that we get more vaccines out, especially the booster doses to people who need them,"
-Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, Guyana
Dr. Anthony also noted that compared to the holiday period when there were about 80 vaccines given a day, this has now improved to3,000 daily. This is a positive sign, he said, as he encouraged persons to get vaccinated, especially children between the ages of 12-17. Currently, the first dose vaccination rate is approximately 81 percent, while the second dose is close to 60 percent.
This collaboration between PAHO and Spain aims at improving health and increasing COVID-19 protection in Latin America and Caribbean countries. The project supports vaccine delivery and immunization programmes, and includes, among others, the provision of PAHO technical assistance to strengthen national regulatory processes, community engagement, and communication to support vaccination and surveillance.
To date, 552, 420 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were donated to Guyana by the USA, Canada, UK, France and Spain, which were facilitated through the COVAX Mechanism Facility and the PAHO Revolving Fund, to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines globally, which facilitates the access to additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in countries and territories of the Americas.