Vaccination for 5-11 age group begins next week

The vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 will be rolled out in the coming week, as Guyana is expecting a shipment of 25, 000 doses of the Pfizer – BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group on Monday.

Vaccines for children ages 5-11 (Web Image)

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony is urging parents to ensure their children are inoculated.

“These are special formulation, these are not the regular vaccines, that we have been giving, this is a special vaccine made by Pfizer specially for this age category,” Dr Anthony said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this year, recommended extending the use of a smaller dose of the Pfizer – BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.

Pfizer Vaccines for children ages 5-11 (Web Image)

The recommended dosage for the younger population is 10 micrograms instead of 30 micrograms given to adults.

With the limited supply of vaccines, Dr. Anthony said parents should take every opportunity to take the jab.  

“When we start rolling this out, we will have enough vaccines for 25,000 children in the first tranche of vaccines that we would be giving,” Dr. Anthony noted.

The vaccines will be administered at the regular vaccination sites across the country, as well as drive- throughs.

The health minister assured that the vaccines have been approved by all regulatory bodies.

“We have been quite fortunate that one of our partner countries, Spain, has willingly agreed to donate these vaccines to Guyana, and that’s why we would be one of the first countries in this region to be able to access the vaccine, and to use the vaccine,” Dr.Anthony said.

Meanwhile, persons are urged to continue wearing masks as it is a proven way of preventing the spread of the virus.

“As it is right now, I think a lot of people have become vey complacent and they don’t want to wear masks, but while a lot of people have stopped wearing masks, what we are seeing is an increase in cases,” the minister noted.

There were 100 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in the past 24 hours taking the total number of infections to 873 cases.

Dr Anthony said the current Covid-19 infection numbers could be underestimated, since persons who have the disease may think they have the common flu.

There are currently 27 persons hospitalised with the Covid-19 virus. The number consists of persons with underlying conditions, or older persons, however, there are also persons with only primary doses of a vaccine and no boosters. 

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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.