Guyana government seeking COVID vaccines for children 5-11

GEORGETOWN – The Guyana government says it is moving ahead with plans for the procurement of the paediatric coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines for children five to 11 years old, so as to boost their immunity and protect them against the virus that has killed 1 234 and infected 64 639 others since 2020.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, said the vaccine will be rolled out sometime within the coming weeks.

“We are also expecting to get the paediatric Pfizer vaccines. These are vaccines that can be used for children between 11 and five, and by the second week of June, we will start making these vaccines available,” he said.

Anthony said while the ministry awaits the arrival of the vaccines, health workers will be trained to safely administer them, as well as understanding how to observe children after taking the jab.

“So, it would allow us to adequately train our staff in the use of the vaccine and once we do that, we’ll start rolling out the vaccine for the five to 11 age group.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the reformulation of the US-made Pfizer vaccine for children five to 11 years old, and the Health Minister said that the authorities here have been working assiduously to procure the vaccine.

He said also that the government will soon administer the first booster dose to adolescents in the 12 to 17 age group.

“We are also going to be offering for the first-time booster doses for persons 12 to 17 years of age, so again from the first of June, persons within this age category would be able to access a booster dose,” he said.

Health authorities here say that as of Monday, 34 691 persons between 12 to 17 years old have taken the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine while 25 416 people are fully inoculated and Anthony reiterated a call for parents and guardians to ensure their children are vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.

He said more children need to come forward as the vaccination rate among this age group is worrisome. (CMC)

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