Nursery, primary school children could return to schools with Pfizer vaccine rollout

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Children from the ages of five to 11 could start receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines soon and Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony says this would allow the children to return to face-to-face classes.

During his daily COVID-19 update on Wednesday, the Health Minister acknowledged that there have been significant learning losses during the COVID-19 pandemic owing to the closure of schools and the inability of all children to access education.

And, he reminded members of the public that the government has been working towards safely reopening schools. Already, the Ministry of Education has permitted the reopening of schools on an individualised basis. Importantly, secondary school children have been allowed to return to schools since the Pfizer vaccine has been rolled out among children aged 12 to 18.

“With the pending approval of Pfizer for children aged 11 to 5, potentially, we have primary and nursery school kids getting vaccinated and returning to schools,” Dr. Anthony highlighted during Wednesday’s update.

Children from ages 12 and 18 are exclusively receiving the Pfizer vaccines since this COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in this age category. Other vaccines have not been approved for use in children.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children aged five to 11, but at a lower dosage. Once the necessary approval is granted, it is expected that these children in the US could begin receiving the jabs as early as next week.

Reuters reported further that the Pfizer and BioNTech companies, producing the Pfizer vaccine, said last month that their COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response in the five to 11-year-olds in its clinical trial.

The companies also said the vaccine showed 90.7 per cent efficacy against COVID-19 in the same group.

And once the US authorities give the green light for the use of these vaccines in children, it is expected that a similar rollout will commence in Guyana.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony also noted that some 27,055 children between the ages of 12 to 18 have already received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine; some 17,647 children have received both their first and second doses.

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