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National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Appointed

 A National COVID-19 Vaccines Task Force is now in place as Guyana prepares for the arrival of vaccines to target the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force which is headed by Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony also includes several health specialists, the National COVID-19 task force, PAHO/WHO and other key players and agencies. “The members are public service professionals who are familiar with immunisation programmes, cold storage operations and medical supply chains,” Dr Anthony is quoted as saying in a release from the Ministry of Health as he said these persons represent a “diverse blend” of people who have the “expertise and commitment to this national” effort in response to COVID-19.

The Vaccines Task Force has started drafting a training manual the Health Ministry said, this is to map out how COVID-19 vaccine would be administered. It will also guide the procurement process for cold storage facilities and distribution. The government has said it has started the procurement process, “We want to ensure that we are prepared for the roll out of vaccines, and so they will be looking at our preparedness and working on a vaccine preparedness and roll out plan, then of course, ensuring that all the sites where vaccines will be administered are ready,” Dr Anthony is quoted as saying.

The vaccines task force is expected to meet every Friday “to discuss the strategic implementation plan” to monitor the roll- out of a safe, effective and efficient Vaccination Programme the Ministry has said.

 

The Chair and members of the COVID-19 Vaccines Task Force are as follows:

  1. Minister of Health — Dr. Frank Anthony (Chair)
  2. Advisor to the Minister of Health — Dr. Leslie Ramsammy
  3. Chief Medical Officer — Dr. Narine Singh
  4. Director General of Regional Health Services — Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo
  5. Director of Primary Health Care Services — Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton (Secretary)
  6. Deputy Director of Regional Health Services — Dr. Veronica Griffith
  7. Director of Surveillance Unit — Ms. Sasha Walrond
  8. Director of the Food & Drug Analyst Department — Dr. Marlan Cole
  9. Officer in Charge of Health Communications — Ms. Shabana Shaw
  10. Team of Immunologists — services to be sourced externally when needed
  11. Representative from the Joint Services — Mr. Clifton Hicken
  12. Representative from the Guyana Revenue Authority – Mr. Lance Wills
  13. Representative from PAHO/WHO — Dr. Luis Codina
  14. Representative from UNICEF — Mr. Irfan Akhtar
  15. Cold Chain Technician — Mr. John Ramotar
  16. Pharmacist — Dr. Karishma Jeeboo
  17. Representative of the Private Health Sector — Dr. Malika Mootoo
  18. Representative from the Attorney General’s Office — Ms. Joann Bond

19. Representative from the Ministry of Local Government — Ms. Prema Roopnarine