Covid vaccines: the truth and Guyana’s procurement process  

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Predictably, it happens every year. Christmas fruitcake ingredients in the amalgamation bowl as Egyptian arithmetic is mentally computed. A dozen eggs the deficit for which, they should be seen but not heard, being instructed to deliver the impossible. EGGS. The undertaking better suited for an undertaker, was to procure with monetary offerings, the hens’ laying. But this was easier instructed than achievable, for the eggs driven by greater demands, were inflated to twice the price. But certainly fearful of the rod, the egg search would extend the entire neighbourhood, house to house, like forensic detectives. Try again next year, would be shouted out to us in painful unison. So I beg to differ that this experience is solitary but likely shared by many, including PPP.

Belated vaccine search

For their ill-informed representative on all things health, Dr. Frank Anthony appeared symptomatically burdened by severe heat stroke, manifested in abundant irritation when APNU+AFC rightly increased the thermostat temperature. Indeed, his responses were more angered than the loved ones who are painfully grieving, the over 400 needlessly deaths from Covid. So with deaths and hospitalisations piling up, higher than the Pakaraima mountains, PPP belated went on a vaccine search. And certainly embarrassed by their foolery, whispers were in lovers’ tone that they have paid twice the amount, for two inferior vaccines. Sinopharm with no clinical trials and Sputnik V without WHO approval. But Mr. Joe Harmon would have none of it as he directed a PAHO/WHO recommended price list, in their direction. And it is at this point that Dr. Anthony’s, heat related deep fried brain, triggered a focally oral seizure evident in his response, “If the Leader of the Opposition can today get Sputnik-V for $10 and the Sinovac for $5 then the Government of Guyana would certainly want to buy from the source that the Leader of the Opposition would be able to get.” Seriously? Please tell me that Dr. Anthony didn’t send Mr. Joe Harmon on a Christmas Covid vaccine hunt, at the 12th hr. That man is surely not a child. The truth is, vaccines were available since 2020, what was PPP doing all this time? Planting sugarcane? They foolishly believed they could have begged their way and pocket our monies, out of a pandemic.

Desperate search  

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Now awakened to the reality that he has to do the job he is being paid for, Dr. Anthony made the belated decision to work the phones in procuring Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and this is what transpired, “…. we have had discussions with Pfizer to try to acquire vaccines for Guyana, unfortunately, as I said before, Pfizer told us that they will not be able to give us vaccines until 2022.” The dangers of procuring eggs on Christmas Eve. What else you expected to be told? Go join the line for Covid dunces? These vaccines were out since last year and now you foolishly jumping the queue.

Dr. Frank Anthony’s auto-rhinoplasty 

Then right before our eyes, Dr. Anthony performed an auto-rhinoplasty(lengthening of one’s nose) by twisting the truth in stating many Caribbean Islands are dependent on Covax since they were unable to procure vaccines. Certainly, Trinidad, Barbados and many other islands procured their vaccines but that is beside the point.

PPP never procured Covid vaccines simply because Covid was never their priority hence using other Caribbean islands as convenient examples is disingenuous. The fact is, those Islands would have procured vaccines if they had the funds. Most of those small Islands depend on tourism, hadn’t recovered from the financial crisis of 2007 and now burdened with absent tourism from Covid. We have oil, gold, rice etc. We are so rich that PPP deposited $7.2 billion in the coffin of a dead sugar industry.

Procurement  

Then APNU+AFC, Mrs. Tabitha- Sarabo Halley, questioned Dr. Anthony on why the vaccines were not catered for in the 2021 budget, considering the Government was aware of the pandemic and the existence of vaccines. And Dr. Anthony facing a difficult question confabulated stories of Covid vaccines not yet approved by PAHO/WHO. Which vaccines Dr. Anthony? Surely Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer were. Further, those vaccines that were begged for and placed in arms were not WHO approved. Sputnik V with doubled price is not WHO approved. So why this nonsense of WHO approval delaying PPP procurement?

But again that’s beside the point. Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna underwent clinical trials of three phases. At each phase, data were publicly released. It’s these data that sensible Governments used to informed earlier procurement. They knew, waiting the last minute, would land them in a mad vaccine rush. Therefore, this response from Dr. Anthony, “How could we put it in the budget if we don’t know the source where we’re going to get it from? We want to make much out of nothing!” Is absolutely nonsensical. The fact is, the vaccines were out in 2020. Further, the budget of 2021 allocated $2 billion for a dead sugar, highlighting where PPP priorities lie.

PPP blame game 

Then Dr. Anthony did the unthinkable by charging that APNU+AFC are sending “ambivalent messages” with their line of questioning which may result in vaccine hesitancy. Now I am beyond convinced that PPP should’ve placed ice-packs on Dr. Anthony’s head, for it’s evident that his cerebral thermo-regulators are failing.

The fact is, the aim of vaccination is to save lives and reduce hospitalisation. With 50% of those eligible having received their first dose and over 10% fully vaccinated but deaths and hospital admissions increasing exponentially, it is clear to all rational minds that the vaccines are failing. Surely, if APNU+AFC hadn’t questioned this, it would have been the clearest case of co-conspirator in negligence. The fact is, people are not taking their vaccines because of APNU+AFC questioning. They aren’t taking them because their love ones are dying despite the vaccine. They aren’t taking them because Dr. Anthony politicised Covid. They aren’t taking them because PPP has 500,000 dose of discredited Covaxin from India, which maybe clandestinely entering arms. They aren’t taking them for many countries are reporting expired WHO-Covax vaccines, except Guyana. Why?

Verdict  

PPP never had Covid as their priority. They said as much on day one. Their plan was to beg their way out of the pandemic. Now that the deaths can be longer explained away, they are doing what they do best. Make excuses.

For a leopard never changes its spots. Over three months PPP hid behind the closed doors of Parliament, afraid of oversight. Now the doors have been forced opened by APNU+AFC the confabulations of paying twice the amount for two inferior vaccines are surely unbelievably. For I tell you this, that narrative I will not believe until I examine their pockets. Somebody is getting a massive cutback.

But this is worse than we think. Nearly 300,000 Guyanese have received a variety of vaccines. Was PPP gathering data to determine which of these vaccines are effective for us, in view of our close proximity to Brazil and our opened airports? NO. That data would’ve informed the decision process in their belated vaccine procurement.

Unquestionably, PPP cared less. Now we bury our loved ones, they have long buried the truth.



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