Guyana Friday denied social media reports that a child had died after receiving a Pfizer vaccine and denounced those bent on spreading propaganda.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that it had taken note of the postings of a video “purporting to be a child who had just received the Pfizer vaccine and instantly reacted and died.
“The Ministry of Health (MOH) would like the public to know that no such vaccine-related incident occurred in Nabaclis or anywhere else in Guyana. With over 25,000 adolescents receiving the Pfizer vaccine, there has been no death or serious illness.
“Those who are spreading such fake news, using a non-vaccine related tragedy, are guilty of dangerous, deadly mischief-making and propaganda,” the ministry said, adding that “a family tragedy is being used to wickedly promote false stories about COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to derail the vaccine programme in Guyana.
“We urge those who are spreading this story to desist from doing so. The MOH intends to report this deliberate misinformation campaign to the cybercrime unit so that action can be taken to bring those responsible to justice.”
The ministry said that it also reiterates that all vaccines used for adolescents and adults are safe, adding that after more than 60,0000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, there have not been any serious negative reactions.
“We, therefore, urge all eligible citizens to come forward to get their vaccines,” the MOH said.
Guyana also announced on Friday that it will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to access the Indian COVID Vaccine Intelligence network
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, said once an MoU is signed with the Indian government, Guyana will be able to access the Indian COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN and the platform will enable the Ministry of Health to better track vaccination data.
“We’re in discussions with the Indian government and they want us to sign an MOU to which we have agreed. We are now awaiting the appropriate date when the MOU can be signed and once that is done, I suppose we would then be able to access it.”
Following tremendous interest in the application, India announced that CoWIN will be made an open-source to any country for health interventions across the world.
The software, which will be tailored for local use, will allow the ministry to observe trends and patterns in the vaccination process, which will contribute positively to the current process, and would also be useful for future reference.
In the meantime, Guyana’s vaccination record keeping has been quite comprehensive at both the regional and national levels. To date, 359,222 adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 199,978 are fully inoculated. Some 24,460 adolescents have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.