Gov’t considering booster doses for adolescents – Health Minister

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said the government is considering the recommendation by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States, to offer booster doses to persons 12 years and older.

He was speaking during Thursday’s COVID-19 update.

Getting boosted against COVID-19

According to the CDC, adolescents age 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

“…that’s something we will also be looking at because our population between 12 to 17, we’ve only been giving them the primary dose, that’s the first and second dose, and now we’ll probably have to consider whether we should administer the booster dose,” Dr. Anthony said.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P

Additionally, on March 29 the FDA recommended that countries can now administer a fourth COVID-19 booster dose to their population.

“The recommendation is that the fourth dose should be administered to people who have underlying conditions that result in immuno compromise… The second condition is that they have generally recommended it for any body 50 years and older,” Dr. Anthony said.

He said scientific data has shown that a fourth dose vaccine is ‘very protective’ as such the ministry will be considering the administration of a fourth dose for persons 50 years and older.

He is again reiterating the importance of getting inoculated against the disease.

A COVID-19 vaccine

“When you get vaccinated, you’re giving your body a chance to quickly react when it comes in contact with the virus. If not [vaccinated], it would take a long time, and during that period you can develop other complications so it is important to get vaccinated.” Dr. Anthony is reminding the public that immunity drops approximately six months after taking the second dose of a primary vaccine, therefore it is important that persons be boosted against the disease.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.