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DPI – The Guyana Government is currently engaging the CARICOM-African Union to purchase a quantity of COVID-19 vaccines for the nation, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said.
CARICOM and the African Union have brokered an agreement whereby the latter group has allocated 1.5 million doses of vaccines to the Caribbean and Guyana is expected to receive at least 140,000 doses.
“CARPHA has provided to CARICOM, I suppose, based on the population of the different countries in the Region, a breakdown of how many doses they should allocate per country, and so based on that schematic that CARPHA would have presented to CARICOM, Guyana has now been designated to receive at least 140,000 doses,” Dr. Anthony said during Friday’s COVID-19 update.
While the details are still being worked out, Minister Anthony said this arrangement stems from several bilateral discussions Guyana is engaged in to obtain vaccines.
“These vaccines are not going to be free. They are vaccines that the country would have to pay for and right now we have indicated our interest in receiving vaccines through this mechanism, and the details are currently being worked out between CARICOM and the African Union,” he said.
The Minister made the announcement about CARICOM-AU arrangement during Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly, in response to a question posed by the Opposition about the sourcing of vaccines.
Guyana is also set to receive 104,000 mNRA vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, as well as a donation of 20,000 Sinopharm vaccine from the Chinese Government.
The COVAX mNRA vaccine is Oxford’s AstraZeneca. Minister Anthony said the African Union may also have access to these mRNA vaccines, which includes vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases.” They trigger an immune response by putting a weakened form of the germ into our bodies which produces antibodies that protect us if we become infected with the real virus.