Pfizer now available as booster to Sputnik V

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Following a scientific evaluation, the Ministry of Health announced on Monday that the United States-manufactured Pfizer vaccine is now available as a booster for persons who took the Russian Sputnik V as a primary vaccine.

When the Ministry began its booster regimen late last year, persons who took two doses of the Sputnik V were advised to take the Johnson and Johnson shot as a booster.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said a scientific assessment by a medical committee found the Pfizer vaccine could now be used as a booster.

“Initially when we looked at it, we thought that the most compatible would have been the J&J vaccine which helps to achieve two things; one to give people their booster doses and secondly, to travel…And therefore, when the committee would have done that scientific evaluation, they felt that Pfizer can also be offered and therefore, we have adjusted the schedule to allow our staff to be able to give that Pfizer dose as a booster,” the Minister said.

Dr Anthony is urging persons to visit any vaccination site across the country to receive their booster or third dose, as it has been proven effective in protecting persons against the disease.

“It is proven that once you have your booster dose that you are going to be protected and therefore those persons who would have had both doses of their vaccines, we are urging them to make sure that they come back and get their booster dose.”

He said further that person who took the single dose J&J vaccine should revisit a vaccination site after two months for a second dose, as the vaccine is no longer being given as a single dose.

Meanwhile, Guyana will this week receive another batch of 25,000 doses of the Janssen’s Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as the country continues the fight against the deadly COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony said the Ministry has been using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine both as a primary shot, as well as a booster to persons who are fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine.

“In terms of the J&J, while we have limited amounts right now, we are going to get some this week. We are expecting at least 25, 000 doses this week. So, when we get that again, those persons who would like to get their boosters with J&J would be able to do that,” he said.

As of Monday, 414, 235 or 80.3 percent of the adult population took the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 300, 181 or 58.5 percent are fully immunised.

With regards to the 12 to 17 age cohort, 3, 173 or 42.6 percent took the first dose Pfizer vaccine while 2, 280 or 30.3 percent took both doses of the vaccine.

Minister Anthony said booster doses continue to increase with 17, 461 persons now better protected against the deadly virus.