GEORGETOWN 6 December 2021 – Guyana received 42,120 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses 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.
Forty-two, one hundred twenty doses of the Pfizer vaccine are donations from the United States that arrived on 6 December 2021 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown.
This shipment of COVID-19 vaccines is part of the Round 8 and 9 allocations of the COVAX mechanism, which the US Government donated. This donation would further strengthen Guyana’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, which is open to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and eligible adolescents – 12 to 18 years. Guyana has vaccinated 78.8% of the adult population, of which 55.3% are fully vaccinated, to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021. Adolescent children ages 12-17 years were vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and so far, 40.5% of the children have received their 1st dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and 28.4% are fully vaccinated.
Dr. Frank Anthony said, “in the last few weeks, the MOH has seen a continuous trend in COVID-19 infections rates among pregnant women. Therefore, we encourage everyone eligible to be vaccinated to take their shot. You need to take your second shot if you had your first shot. Also, we have the booster available, so if you would have taken your second dose six months ago, you can take the booster”.
Sarah-Ann Lynch said, “This is the fifth donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Guyana through COVAX. There should be no doubt how seriously the United States takes the health and welfare of the Guyanese people, and I hope everyone takes advantage of this and gets the jab”.
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.
The Immunization Programme in Guyana has been one of the success stories since 2000. PAHO/WHO has made the Expanded Programme on Immunization a priority programme for the Americas. Guyana EPI has introduced new vaccines into the programme over the years, and no case of any vaccine-preventable disease such as polio, measles, yellow fever, etc.
With COVID-19 vaccination, the United Nations organizations would continue to support the programme, to ensure that disease transmission is reduced through vaccination.