Children 5 to 11 to get Pfizer vaccines from Nov. 19

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Children aged five to 11 years old will start receiving the US- made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from November 19, a memorandum from the Chief Education Officer (CEO) Dr. Marcel Huston has stated.

According to the memorandum addressed to the Regional Educational Officers in the 11 educational districts of Guyana, the decision was made after approval was granted for the Pfizer vaccines to be administered to children in this age category in the United States of America (USA).

The government’s intention to vaccinate these children was first stated by Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony following recommendations and subsequent approvals for the use of this vaccine among the five to 11 year old children in the USA.

Dr. Anthony explained that for this young age group, the vaccine dose administered will be about one-thirds of the amount given to adults. As such, it was necessary for the health workers to be trained in administering this vaccine.

Later, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand confirmed this, noting that there are some 84,000 primary school children and 27,000 nursery school children, but not all of those children will be eligible for the vaccines since they all do not fall within the five to 11 age category.

Similar to the rollout of the Pfizer vaccines to children in the 12 to 18 age category, these younger children will be able to receive the vaccines at specific schools close to them. A schedule for this is expected to be published and circulated shortly.

Importantly, it was noted that children who are now entering Grade Seven (Form One) can return to their respective primary schools, or the nearby school administering the vaccines for that locality, to get their vaccines.

Parents can also opt to get their children vaccinated at the more than 100 fixed sites across the country.

The local authorities are pushing for a full return to face-to-face classes because there have been significant learning losses recorded through the pandemic.

Vaccinating children is an important part of that return.

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