Sunday, September 25, 2022

China Donating COVID-19 Vaccines To Guyana

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CHINA has already agreed to donate 20,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to Guyana, amid aggressive efforts by the government to engage its international partners so that enough vaccines can be secured to immunise the population in the shortest possible time, according to President Dr Irfaan Ali.

On Saturday, during an address to the nation, Dr Ali assured that the government is “aggressively” pursuing all avenues to secure vaccines. This includes engaging many of Guyana’s international partners, such as India, China and Russia, who have been developing and manufacturing vaccines.

Already, he highlighted, “The Government of China has confirmed that it will be donating 20,000 doses of vaccines to Guyana. Discussions are ongoing and arrangements to acquire vaccines from these countries will be finalised shortly.”

While it is unclear which Chinese vaccine Guyana will be receiving, international reports highlighted that Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac has developed the CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine which is able to expose the body’s immune system to the dreaded coronavirus without risking a serious disease response. This allows the body to become immunised by ‘fighting off’ the virus injected.

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Meanwhile, Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned company, is developing two COVID-19 vaccines, which, like Sinovac are also inactivated vaccines that work in a similar way and are reportedly 79 per cent effective.

Though this level of vaccine efficacy is lower than that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have been used in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), the BBC reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which approved a Sinopharm vaccine earlier this month, said the vaccine was 86 per cent effective. This greater efficacy rate was garnered from interim results of the UAE’s phase three trial.

President Ali also indicated that the government has been in talks with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union (EU) for a quota of vaccines.

He further highlighted that the government is also engaging major vaccine manufacturers including Pfizer, BioNTec, Moderna and AstraZeneca to finalise a supply of vaccines from them.

These governmental efforts to secure vaccines are conducted in addition to Guyana’s engagement with the COVAX facility, through which the country has already submitted the requisite documentation and is expecting vaccines as early as the month of February.

Months ago, Guyana signed up with the COVAX facility, a global initiative geared at accelerating the development and manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccines, and then providing them in a guaranteed rapid, fair and equitable manner. And, under this mechanism, Guyana is expected to receive its first set of vaccines to cover about 20 per cent of the population for free.

The first three per cent will be used for the frontline health workers and the next tranche, about 17 per cent, will be used for older persons and persons with higher risks, such as those with comorbidities. Guyana is not yet aware which of the vaccines it will receive.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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