GUYANA | Harmon wants suspension in use of latest batch of Sputnik V vaccines pending verification

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, June 17, 2021 - Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon has called for a suspension in the use of a batch of 200,000 doses of Russian  Sputnik V vaccines  recently purchased by the Guyana Government through a Middle Eastern third party.

Addressing a press conference today, Mr. Harmon said apart from the fact that the Sputnik V vaccines have not been approved by the WHO, no one was in a position to say whether the vaccines are real, given the circuitous route they have taken to get to Guyana as well as questionable price regime.

The PPP has placed the lives of thousands of Guyanese at risk by purchasing the vaccine from a middle man at the exorbitant price and kept this a secret from Guyanese people up to now.

I have made a statement on this issue on tuesday 15th June, 2021 calling on president irfaan ali to give full disclosure on the issue.

The Opposition Leader said “it was discovered that the installed PPP regime purchased 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccines for the sum of $975,000.00 and that it intended to purchase another 58,000 doses for $275,964,000.”
Harmon explained that “these purchases were made from one sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, and were some $600 million above the World Health Organization(WHO) stated prices.

Harmon said, when questioned in Parliament, the Minister of Health seemed unaware of many features of the transaction.

The Opposition Leader said “while several other vaccines had been given emergency use authorisation more than one year into the pandemic and the sputnik V vaccine was in a que (line) awaiting this emergency use authorisation. 

He said “Guyanese were given the impression by the government that like other vaccines which were made available to Guyana that Sputnik V vaccines had been authorised.

Harmon said “the PPP has placed the lives of thousands of Guyanese at risk by purchasing the vaccine from a middle man at the exorbitant price and kept this a secret from Guyanese people up to now.”

I have made a statement on this issue on tuesday 15th June, 2021 calling on president irfaan ali to give full disclosure on the issue.

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to grant Emergency Use Authorisation of Sputnik V,  the Health Minister said Guyana’s Food and Drug Department issued local Emergency Use Authorisation based on usage in Russia where the vaccines are being manufactured.

The Opposition Leader wants the Health Ministry to release the batch numbers of all imported Sputnik V vaccines, and that he would be writing the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, asking for information about the vaccines that have been shipped to Guyana.  Mr. Harmon also wants details about the country-of-origin, transit stops and storage conditions to ensure that they are safe.

In the meantime, Demerara Waves online news is reporting that  Health Minister Minister Dr. Frank Anthony says "his ministry would be willing to provide information to the Opposition Leader depending on what he asks for.

Dr. Anthony said there is proof that the Sputnik V vaccines that Guyana has bought is authentic and not fake. “There is nothing fake about the vaccine because we have all of the authentic information. We have the batch numbers from the Russians and we have all of the documentation both in Russian and in English pertaining to these vaccines,” he said.

 

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