Over 1,300, 5-11 years-old receive first dose COVID vaccine

Some 1,302 children between the ages of five to eleven took the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, since the jab was made available in Guyana last week.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P., said the ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to get children, especially those in hinterland regions, vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, MP

“The Ministry of Education would have sent out consent forms to the parents and they have been able to collect a lot of those responses, so the schools where we have higher percentage of response that is positive, we are going to go into those schools and start vaccination,” Dr. Anthony said.

A clinical trial conducted by the United States’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC) involving more than 2,000 children within this age cohort, found that the vaccine is over 90 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

Vaccination with primary doses, as well as booster shots, is also necessary to prevent the severe form of the virus, and hospitalisation.

Minister Anthony speaking to parent at the vaccination exercise.

The government continues its efforts in getting persons up-to-date with their vaccination status. As such, the ministry has also began administering booster doses to the 12 to 17 age group.

As of today, 34, 861 or 47.8 percent of this age cohort took the first dose of the US-made Pfizer vaccine while 25, 544 or 35.0 percent is fully inoculated.

In terms of adults, 443, 247 or 86.4 percent has been vaccinated with the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 342, 990 or 66.9 percent fully vaccinated. Boosters are currently at 67, 670 doses.

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Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are available to the population; Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.  

Since the government’s procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the population, the ministry has rolled out an aggressive vaccination campaign which targets both children and adults.

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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.