More Pfizer vaccines expected but no word on special doses for children aged 5 to 11

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Another shipment of the US-made Pfizer vaccines is expected in “early December” but there is no clear indication when the local health authorities will be able to secure the special doses needed for children aged five to 11 years old.

This is according to information provided by the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony during his daily COVID-19 update on Wednesday.

The Health Minister said that Guyana was expecting another set of the Pfizer vaccine doses that would be used to immunise adults against the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. The special Pfizer doses needed for children, however, were not yet secured.

“We’re working to get that specific formulation but right now that formulation is primarily in the US.

“… once it becomes available we’ll try to get it,” Dr. Anthony said while responding to a question from the News Room.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

Children aged five to 11 years old require two Pfizer doses that measure about 10 micrograms. Comparatively, the older children (those aged 12 to 18) and adults receive doses that measure about 30 micrograms.

According to reports, these doses have to be mixed with certain amounts of saline before they are administered to both the children and adults. Once mixed, 0.2 milliliters (mL) dose is administered.

And to ensure that the required dosage for children aged five to 11 (10 micrograms) is not mixed up with the dosage administered to adults, the Pfizer Company has introduced a different vaccine packaging- that is, there is a unique label and different cap colour. This is being used in the United States of America (USA) which started to immunise children of this age group earlier this month.

Guyana had planned to start administering this vaccine to children in this age category on November 19 but since the country was unable to secure this special Pfizer dose, the vaccination of the children has been delayed.

Meanwhile. Dr. Anthony also highlighted that Guyana is also expected to receive more vaccines in the New Year. These include more shipments of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines.

Currently, about 397,612 adults or 77.5 per cent of the adult population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 273,701 people or 53.2 per cent of the adults have received two doses.

Booster shots are now available for people aged 50 years and older, all people aged 18 years and older who have other underlying medical conditions (comorbidities) and frontline workers.

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