With Omicron threat, all adults may soon benefit from booster shots


It is possible that all adults would soon be able to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from the local health authorities as the best way of countering the threat of the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus continues to be explored.

This was related by Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony at the sidelines of an event on Wednesday. Dr. Anthony explained that the full extent of the threat posed by this new variant is not yet known.

Some countries around the world, like the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK), are now offering the booster doses to their entire adult population, and especially since they are fearful of a surge in infections and cases.

Guyana has not yet taken a decision on this but Dr. Anthony said the expansion of the booster programmes is under consideration. Already though, persons over 50 years, people aged 18 years and older and frontline workers are eligible for the booster doses.

“That encompasses quite a lot of people already but nevertheless, we are going to review,” Dr. Anthony stated, explaining that the need for an expanded booster programme is being considered.

Already, more than 1,000 people in at least eight of the 10 administrative regions have taken their booster shots to enhance their protection against the disease. For people who received double-dose vaccines, a booster dose would be the third dose; for those who received the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, a booster dose would be a second dose.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony said that a group convened to advise the Ministry of Health is expected to study all emerging and evolving information on the Omicron variant. This is being done to guarantee to ensure that decisions are made with “the science backing it up”.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Narine Singh, Head of the local COVID-19 vaccination rollout Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton, Data Specialist Dr. Anand Persaud and some foreign scientists and professors are all part of this advisory group.

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