Guyana will be bringing back retired healthcare professionals to aid in administering COVID-19 vaccines as delivery of the first COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) quota approaches. Making this revelation was the country’s Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony during his daily update today.

These retirees will significantly decrease training time, the health official noted, while further revealing that some 35 teams are being prepped. Four of those teams are from private institutions, he added.

“In addition to the people already employed by the system – private and public – we have sought to bring back some of the folks with experience, who might have retired. So, again, there are people with lots of experience in this,” he said.

He added that the training will “not be that extensive because these are people who already know what to do”.

Apart from the retirees, the minister said that persons identified to be part of the teams, “have been doing immunisation for some time”.

“So, they know how to do it. They know what to do; how to handle the vaccine, the storage, the pulling up the vaccine, administering it, [and] telling people about side effects and all of that. They have had lots of experience in administering vaccines, so this is nothing new. What is different is giving them some specifics about the COVID-19 vaccines that we would be using,” he noted.

Dr Anthony said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently issued an online module on what health workers should pay attention to when administering the vaccines. This course, he said, will be made available to the teams, and all persons interested in immunisation.

“We are not going to confine it to your staff. Anyone who is interested can go online and take the course, so that they can be part of a reservoir of people who are capable of administering this vaccine.”


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