Gov’t working to increase adolescent COVID-19 vaccination as schools reopen

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, said government is still pursuing the full vaccination of its adolescent population, more so, with the reopening of school.

Since the roll out of the intense immunisation programme for the 12-17 age group, the ministry has seen some 47.4 percent of this age cohort taking the first dose of the vaccine, and 34.7 percent are fully vaccinated.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19

“We have seen a slowdown in the 12 to 17 age group, and we think it can be attributed to a number of factors which include parents not giving permission, not having ready access to children and so forth,” Dr. Anthony said.

“There is an opportunity with school now opened that we’ll be able to reach a lot more children. We’ll be able to provide them with letters that they can take to their parents to get permission, and hopefully that permission will be granted and we’ll be able to administer the vaccine to these children.”

The US-made Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 17 years old

The minister further reiterated the importance of getting children vaccinated against the deadly disease. He said he is hopeful that parents will allow their children to get vaccinated as it is essential to keeping them safe.

“I think it’s important that they get their vaccination, it protects them and hopefully we’ll get more compliance over the next couple of weeks.”

Encourage adolescent COVID-19 vaccination

Additionally, Dr. Anthony noted that there has been emergence of two new variants of Omicron called BA4 and BA5. These variants, he said, are being monitored closely as it is suspected to cause surges in South Africa.

“They’re seeing more cases, and they think it’s more infectious than the previous subvariants and people are going into the hospitals…so we have to monitor and see what will be the outcome,” the minister said.

Adolescent vaccination booklet

He is urging more persons to get vaccinated as it is the only way to protect against the stronger variants of COVID-19.

As of today, there are 122 active coronavirus cases across Guyana with one patient hospitalised and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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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.