Vaccination among teenagers ‘stuck’- Health Minister laments

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Over the past five days, only 61 teenagers have been newly injected with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines while 57 teenagers got their second dose of the vaccine.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, during his COVID-19 update on Monday, lamented the slow uptake of COVID-19 vaccination among the 12 to 17-year old population.

Last Wednesday, the Health Minister reported that vaccination among this age group had been posing a challenge to local health authorities. Then, 34,115 teenagers (or 46.8 per cent of the targeted teenage population) had received at least one Pfizer vaccine dose.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony.

Additionally, 24,756 teenagers (33.9 per cent of the population) had received their first and second doses.

On Monday, as he provided the general vaccination statistics for the country, Dr. Anthony said that the number of teenagers who received their first dose of the vaccine increased to 34,176- an increase of 61 teenagers.

Meanwhile, a total of 24,813 teenagers now received their first and second doses; this was an increase of 57.

Commenting on the slow uptake of the vaccines among teenagers, Dr. Anthony lamented, “That has been kinda stuck for a while.”

COVID-19 vaccination for teenagers in Guyana was first introduced in August 2021. Though the local authorities have attempted several outreach campaigns, many teenagers remain unvaccinated.

During a recent interview with the News Room, Dr. Anthony explained that the local authorities require parental permission before they can administer vaccines to the teenagers. As such, it is crucial for parents to encourage vaccination.

With the planned, full reopening of schools next month, vaccination of students is seen as particularly necessary.

Meanwhile, a total of 437,152 adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccines; while 334, 899 adults took their second doses.

Booster doses, Dr. Anthony said, remain relatively low; only about 56,174 people have taken their booster shots.

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