PFIZER VACCINE: Gov’t considers new measures for adolescent boys
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued updated recommendations for the Pfizer vaccine being administered to adolescent boys and the Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, announced on Friday that the government is actively considering it.
The new measures from the CDC come because of a rare condition seen in adolescent boys when the COVID-19 vaccine is administered.
That condition, myocarditis, also known as inflammatory cardiomyopathy, is a heart condition due to inflammation of the heart muscle with symptoms that include shortness of breath, chest pain, decreased ability to exercise, and an irregular heartbeat.
The duration of problems can vary from hours to months and those complications may include heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy or cardiac arrest. And so the CDC revised its recommended interval of when a Pfizer dose is appropriate, to five months.
“While absolute risk remains small, the relative risk for myocarditis is higher for males ages 12-39 years, and this risk might be reduced by extending the interval between the first and second dose,” the CDC said.
And the Health Minister during his daily COVID-19 update noted that while the condition rarely occurs, the Technical Committee at the Ministry has begun reviewing the measures to consider implementation.
“This is something that I think a lot of countries now are considering…they are assessing the scientific data and considering whether or not they need to make these changes in their regimen so we are going to do that and based on the information that we are seeing from the CDC, then we might be able to make those adjustments,” Dr. Anthony said.
A similar change has been made to the guidelines for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. But the Minister was keen to note that not many Moderna vaccines have been administered in Guyana, so there would be no need to revise the set time between doses.
“But it is something that we will have to bear in mind because other countries are making such adjustments so as the more information is available, we are working to make sure that we have the most updated regimens in terms of administration of the vaccines,” he added.
To date, 84.1 per cent of the adult population received their first dose vaccine and 63.7 per cent received their second dose. The vaccination campaign in children aged 12 to 17 is now at 45.9 per cent for first dose and 33.1 percent per cent received their second dose. Booster doses is now at, 49, 742.