Guyana monitoring FDA’s decision on second dose for Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine

The Ministry of Health is monitoring the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) deliberations on a possible second dose of the US made Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA is also reviewing the possibility of a third dose for the Moderna vaccine today, and will review the Johnson and Johnson jab on Friday.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, said it is important that the ministry pays attention to the outcome on the deliberations for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“These are new developments in terms of the regimen of how we use the vaccine, and we are paying keen attention at least for the J&J because we have been using that in Guyana, and if we have to give a second dose now, we’ll have to go back and encourage those persons who would have received it to come and get that booster shot.”

In August, Guyana received 34,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The distribution of the vaccine was mainly done in hinterland communities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony said the country’s overall COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been progressing well with more than 300,000 persons taking the first dose of any of the vaccines offered.

“We now have 371,007 persons who would have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so that takes our percentage up to 72.3 per cent of our adult population receiving a first dose vaccine. In terms of second dose vaccine, we have had 228,262 persons who would have received the second dose vaccine or would have been fully immunised.

“That would now put the percentage at 44.5 per cent. In terms of the Pfizer vaccine for children, we have 26,130 persons receiving a first dose that’s about 35.8 per cent of that population and for a second dose, it’s 15,879, which would be about 21.8 per cent that age cohort, receiving both doses.”

The Ministry of Health rolled out an aggressive COVID-19 immunisation campaign last March. The vaccines being used are the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik V. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is currently being offered to adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17, along with pregnant and breastfeeding women.