COVID-19: Children’s vaccination continues to lag – Health Minister

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The COVID-19 vaccination rollout of children between the ages of 12 and 17 continues to lag despite a daily increase in infections.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony urged parents to get their children vaccinated especially now that schools have re-opened for face-to-face learning. So far, 17, children would have died from the dreaded virus.

The children’s vaccination rate for the first dose is at 44.3 per cent while the second dose is at 31.1 per cent.

“The 12 to 17 remains the group with the lowest level of vaccination both for the first and second dose.”

The vaccination rate has been low for quite some time despite campaigns by the government to get children vaccinated.

“There seem to be some reluctance on the part of the parents to get their children vaccinated,” Dr Anthony revealed.

Meanwhile, in terms of the adult population, the first dose vaccination rate is at 82.1 per cent while second dose is at 60.3 per cent.

So far, 35, 014 booster doses have been administered.

In a further breakdown of the vaccination rate, Dr Anthony revealed that the first dose vaccine administered to adults between 18 and 39 is at 79.1 per cent.

According to the minister, this is the “mobile group” that would visit bars and other entertainment spots. But there is a huge gap with this age group of persons who would have returned for their second dose – 53.8 per cent was recorded while booster dose is significantly lower at 3.5 per cent.

The 40 to 59 age group is doing fairly well with 81.7 per cent first dose vaccination and a 65.5 per cent second dose.

The 60 and over age group is the group with the majority of the recorded underlying health conditions and is at an 82.3 per cent rate of first dose vaccine. The second dose is at 71.8 per cent and booster at 16.7 per cent.

“If people continue to disregard the need for booster doses, they will get sick and some with the more severe form of the virus and some, unfortunately, will die,” Dr Anthony reminded.

Meanwhile, there are 133 people hospitalised across the country with COVID-19; 91 are at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown with 20 patients are in the intensive care unit.

Dr Anthony also revealed that Guyana has recorded a total of 76 imported cases of the virus.

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