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Guyana has received its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines, President Irfaan Ali has confirmed.
“I am pleased to announce the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, of which 100 doses will go to the CARICOM Secretariat and the remaining 1400 doses will go exclusively to our frontline workers,” Ali said in a statement.
“I wish to thank Prime Minister, Mia Mottley and by extension, the people of Barbados for sharing with us from their first batch of vaccines. This act of kindness is among many in recent months that Guyana and Barbados have shared. In the coming days and weeks, we will be in receipt of various tranches of vaccines.
I assure Guyanese that this issue is the top priority on our agenda and our aim is to ensure that every Guyanese is vaccinated before the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, though it will be up to Guyanese whether they choose to take a COVID-19 vaccine, once made available to them, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo hopes that all Guyanese will agree to be vaccinated before the end of 2021.
Already, at least three types of COVID-19 vaccines have been pledged to Guyana from various locations. They include the Sinopharm vaccine from China; the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility; and the COVAXIN made in India. “We’re hoping, although it will be on a purely voluntary basis…that before the end of the year that all Guyanese can be vaccinated,” Jagdeo told the media on Tuesday on the topic of the Government’s efforts against the virus.
The vaccines will be immediately and preferentially administered to health workers, persons with comorbidities and the elderly, then to the wider population. It is free of cost but not mandatory.
At another press conference in January, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said that misinformation has caused some persons to become hesitant about taking the vaccine.
However, he noted that it is the Ministry’s aim to dispel these fears or misconceptions through the provision of information.
On the other hand, the Vice President stressed the necessity of the country achieving herd immunity. He said: “It’s going to be costly and it will take a lot of effort but we have to do this, we don’t have a choice but to get this done.”
Apart from the vaccines to be received, the Government is also working along with the CARICOM, the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of Islamic Corporation, China, India, Russia and major manufacturers such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca for additional quotas.