Those awaiting 2nd dose COVID vaccines cannot access public spaces freely

"I took the vaccine... I didn't turn into a monkey"- Health Minister Anthony

Persons awaiting the second doses of their COVID-19 vaccines will not be allowed to freely enter public places without a negative PCR test result and an appointment. Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday explained that this position was taken after it was noticed that many persons who took their first dose of the vaccines did not return for their second dose.

The Government has reduced the curfew hours to start at midnight during this month but increased its push for persons to be fully vaccinated with the implementation of a “full vaccination” measure for persons to access public spaces. A person is only considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of a Covid vaccine.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Dr. Anthony said “people had a long time to get themselves in order and what we have noticed from the data that a lot of people came, they took the first dose, and they didn’t come back for a second dose.”

He added that a lot of time has elapsed between the first and second doses. If you only have one dose of the vaccine, it’s not going to be adequate to get full protection and that is why this measure is necessary, so that people get both doses of a two-dose vaccine.”

Minister Anthony noted that there is no shortage of vaccines in Guyana and persons are free to visit any of the Ministry of Health’s vaccination sites and get protection from the Covid virus.

This week, the Ministry approved the US made Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 years and older. Previously, the vaccine was only available to adolescents along with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. As such, persons who have been requesting this vaccine, including teachers, can be able to take their jabs.

The Pfizer vaccine was also approved for by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but local professionals are awaiting approval from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before it can start being administered.

Minister Anthony assured that as soon as the US CDC paves the way for the use of the vaccine in children 5-11 years, the local Government Analyst Food and Drug Department will approve its usage in Guyana.

So far in the trial, the immune response of the Pfizer vaccine in children 5-11 years is comparable to persons 12 to 25 years.

According to the Ministry of Health, 382, 177 adults have taken their first dose  COVID-19 vaccines and 244, 322 of that number have taken the second dose. This means 47.6 per cent of the adult population in Guyana are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.