Parents must give consent for children to get COVID-19 vaccine – Health Minister

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Children between the ages of 12 and 18 will need parental consent before receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 jab. Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Friday revealed that they have started to send letters to parents seeking their consent.

“…they will have to sign those letters and send them back with the child so that we will know whether or not we can vaccinate the child,” Dr Anthony said during the daily COVID-19 Update.

PAHO/WHO Representative to Guyana Dr. Luis Codina Friday revealed that Guyana should receive 100,000 doses of the US- made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in September.

The Pfizer vaccine, which was granted emergency use authorization by the WHO to immunize children within this age group, requires special storage and syringes. Dr Anthony assured that they were able to procure special freezers and the syringes for the rollout of this vaccine.

Once this vaccine becomes available to Guyana, children will be top priority to get the jab.

“We have been working very hard with a number of partners to ensure that Guyana can benefit from some of those vaccines and we are hoping we can get some of those vaccines into Guyana very soon,” Dr Anthony said.

The Health Ministry will also be collaborating with the education ministry to ensure children in school are vaccinated, especially with preparations underway to reopen schools next month.

“We will be using different modalities to make sure children who are in school can get access to the vaccine,” Dr Anthony explained.

For children who are not in school, the Health Minister noted that they can access the vaccine at the various vaccination sites in their communities.

Since Guyana recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case and death in March 2020, some 3, 815 children were affected. In terms of deaths, a six-day-old baby with a heart condition and an 11-year-old with Leukemia are recorded as the country’s child deaths from the virus.

Dr Anthony further explained, that majority of the cases in children was mild and did not require hospitalisation.

Recently, a few children were hospitalised in the COVID-19 Hospital and were receiving treatment in the ICU. A 16-year-old patient who was receiving critical care sadly passed away.

To date, 58 per cent of the adult population received a first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine while 30.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

 

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