GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, 21 December 2021 — On Friday 17 December, Guyana received 55,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines under a project funded by Canada and implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to increase vaccine access among vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
With this donation, Guyana expects to continue expanding COVID-19 vaccination coverage, which to date is 36.48 %.
"PAHO has been facilitating the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country for the last 12 months. The vaccines that arrived today are a specific donation from the Government of Canada. We are very happy to see that the country has achieved the level of the rate of vaccination, and we would like to encourage everyone to get vaccinated because the vaccines can save lives".
- Daniel Albrecht, Officer-in-Charge, PAHO/WHO Representative, Guyana
The vaccines, facilitated through PAHO's Revolving Fund, arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on 17 December and were officially received by Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Health, Guyana, Ms. Caroline Mireault, Head of Foreign Policy & Diplomacy Services, and Daniel Albrecht, Officer-in-Charge, PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana.
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.
"I would like to thank the Government of Canada and PAHO/World Health Organization for their partnership and donation towards Guyana's COVID-19 response. I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to all Guyanese to get vaccinated."
- Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Advisor to the Minister, Minister of Health, Guyana
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Guyana has reported over 38,870 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.
The CAD50 million project, entitled Providing Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for Populations in Situations of Vulnerability in the Americas, was launched in early 2021 and is expected to continue through March 2023.
"Today, our donation is 55 200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and Guyana is one of the first countries to receive this donation from Canada. The Government of Guyana has done tremendous work to ensure the availability and access of vaccines to the people in need. But we also recognize that the migrant populations have also put additional weight on the health care system. As such, we are proud to be able to provide this support to the Ministry of Health to ensure the entire population could be served."
- Ms. Caroline Mireault, Head of Foreign Policy & Diplomacy Services, Canadian High Commission, Guyana
This collaboration between PAHO and Canada 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.
Vaccine donations under the project have been procured through PAHO's Revolving Fund, which facilitates access to additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in countries and territories of the Americas.