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COVID VACCINE: No blood clots from AstraZeneca in Guyana- Health Minister

The Government of Guyana will continue to administer doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as there have been no local reports of blood clots or other adverse effects.

This is according to Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony who on Thursday said the benefits of the vaccine outweighs the risks.

“We were satisfied that when we used it in Guyana we did not have any cases of blood clotting and we’ve been monitoring for these cases so we’re very pleased with the results of the vaccines we’ve had so far and we’ll continue to use them,” the Minister said during his daily COVID-19 update.

No blood clots from AstraZeneca in Guyana- Health Minister

Two versions of the vaccine – produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India – have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Concerns that the vaccine may be causing blood clots after its first dose were raised by some countries which have temporarily suspended its use.

Dr. Anthony added that “the AstraZeneca vaccine is right now, used in many countries and because the benefits outweigh the risk, those countries that have initially put a pause on the vaccines have now restarted, most of them.”

Guyana received its first batch of the COVAX supplied AstraZeneca vaccine in February, a donation from the Government of Barbados. In March, the Government of India donated 80,000 doses of the vaccine.

Several persons are due for their second dose next month.

The Minister urged persons to return to the health facilities for their second dose.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony said the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is important, as the first dose only stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies. He explained that after a while, those antibodies lessen, but with the second dose of antibodies, an individual is better protected from contracting a severe form of the disease.

“The purpose of the vaccine to ensure that you are immunised, your immune system is prime and ready so that when you are exposed to the virus, that it can destroy the virus very quickly,” Dr. Anthony said.

In addition, Dr. Anthony said if a person contracts Covid after taking the first dose of the vaccine, that person must make a full recovery before the second dose is administered.

More than 100,000 persons have so far received their first dose of the vaccine, through the public health system and partnerships with non-governmental and religious organisations.

So far, the country’s positive COVID-19 cases have risen to 12,234 with 277 deaths.