The Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine stock in Guyana is nearly depleted as the country braces for more intense surges amid a suspected Omicron presence. Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said today that the Ministry is a “bit low on the J&J vaccine” but noted that the country is expected to receive an additional 25,000 doses this week.

The vaccine does not require a double dose like other brands including AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Sinopharm and because of this uniqueness, Guyana’s Health Ministry had initially piloted its rollout in hinterland communities to save logistical headaches associated with the constant movement of people in and out of the interior.

The United States and other countries subsequently refused to allow recipients of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine into their jurisdiction, exacerbating the need for Guyanese to find alternatives. The administering of the US-recognised J&J jab to Guyanese as a booster shot was the solution needed to allow Guyanese with two doses of Sputnik V to travel. But the measure was not just to allow travel, Minister Anthony said today. He noted that the J&J vaccine was sufficient to provide double-dose recipients with the protection they needed amid the deadlier Delta variant.

With supplies running low, the Minister said that Guyanese can also take the Pfizer vaccine as a booster. More than 17,461 persons have taken a booster shot since programme rollout several weeks ago.


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