Covid deaths and vaccination in Guyana

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Dear editor,

PPP are not your everyday people. They are unique in so many ways that not even ten thousand of Jagdeo’s black books could fully document their unicity. But having said that, Dr. Frank Anthony is a special kind of originality. For how could one explain his frequent strange utterances? Surely he must be overcome with spirits and desperately in need of urgent exorcism.

Let’s face it, Pfizer and Moderna are the creme de la creme of Covid vaccines. These vaccines, boasting efficacies of nearly 100%, are the main shots of hope in America, Britain and Canada. Contrast this with Guyana where Sinopharm, Covaxin, Sputnik V and Oxford AstraZeneca are filling the PPP begging bowls. Of the four, Oxford-AstraZeneca stands out with efficacy in the high 70’s but it is not the dominant vaccine being used in Guyana.
Now let’s examine breakthrough Covid infections. This is essentially confirmed cases of Covid, two weeks after being fully vaccinated. These breakthrough Infections are in the range of less than 1% with most of the cases being mild but quite a few having to be hospitalised.

Now the international numbers. Based on data extracted from the CDC website, as of 1st June 2021, America had 135M people vaccinated with 3016 patients with Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough infections who were hospitalised or died. This represents 0.002% of those vaccinated but it must be stressed that these are not all the cases of breakthrough infections, rather it is just those who were hospitalised or died. Further, it should also be noted that this data is for the Pfizer and Maderna.

Furthermore, of the more than 95 million people in the United States who were fully vaccinated, only 9,245 — or 0.01 percent — have been infected with the coronavirus as of April 26. Just over a quarter of those people never had symptoms; 132 people, or 1 percent of the breakthrough infections, died. Twenty of those deaths were in asymptomatic people or probably not related to COVID-19.

Now the lecture. The underlying reasons for breakthrough infections are multifactorial. Firstly, no vaccine has efficacy of 100%. Secondly, the vaccines may not be effective in everyone especially those who are immunocompromised eg solid organ transplant recipients. As a matter of fact, this group is mostly at risk. Thirdly, the variants which were not in existence when some of these vaccines were tested. Of note, Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca all have good efficacy against the variants.

Enters Dr. Frank Anthony. With Guyana infections and deaths defying gravity as they skyrockets, Dr. Frank Anthony rather than taking the fifth, sticks his hand up and blurted out that none of the Covid hospitalised or deaths were fully vaccinated despite we are using untested and inferior vaccines when compared to America.

So let’s examine the numbers and the facts. Brazilians are literally walking across our porous borders everyday. Brazil has more variants than the populations of China, India and Pakistan combined. All the doors to our airports and ports are permanently opened by pieces of red cloth with “Do not close” emblazoned across them. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that we have millions of very vivacious variants.

Now the immunocompromised. We can disregard the kidney transplants since it is likely that they have all failed within a year since the “surgeon” is equally as clueless as Dr. Frank Anthony. That leaves us the HIV cases etc. Let’s just say HIV is a major problem in Guyana.

Now the inferior vaccines. Thus far 10% of the population is fully vaccinated which works out to approximately 75,000.

So let’s bring this to a conclusion. A country of millions of very vivacious variants, high rates of immunocompromised and poor quality vaccines has zero breakthrough Covid infections while America has thousands despite not afflicted with those health burdens and with superior vaccines. But I’ve done maths and it is suggesting that Guyana should have had at least 200 breakthrough cases that were either hospitalised or died. What happened with these patients?


Dr Mark Devonish MBBS MSc. Med. Ed. FRCP(Edin)  FRCP

Consultant Acute Medicine

Nottingham University Hospital


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