Health Minister again pleads with parents to get children vaxxed as new variant spreads


With a more transmissible form of the Coronavirus disease circulating in Guyana, the Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is once again pleading with parents to get their children vaccinated against the deadly virus.

Dr Anthony is not happy with the number of adolescents getting vaccinated and on Friday, he said the main challenge encountered by the ministry is that parents are not granting permission for their children to take the live-saving jab.

“And unfortunately, while we have vaccines available, we’re not seeing people coming forward to take the vaccines and we need to change that. So, I am once again appealing to parents to protect their children and one way of doing this is to ensure they’re properly vaccinated,” Dr Anthony noted in his daily COVID-19 update on Friday.

Thus far, only 34,726 (47.6 per cent) of children between the age of 12 and 17 have taken their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 25,451 (34.9 per cent) have taken their second dose.

But the Health Minister said these numbers need to increase.

“So, the point here is that, if we’re going to increase these numbers, we need the cooperation/collaboration of parents because the variant that is circulating is more infectious and, therefore, if we want to prevent ‘Long COVID’ and the effects of the severity of the disease and so forth, it is better to be vaccinated,” the Health Minister contended.

Booster doses are now available for adolescents and for the first time, children between the age of 5 to 11, will start receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine next week.

The Government of Spain has gifted Guyana 50,000 special Pfizer vaccines that can be used to vaccinate 25,000 children between the 5-11 age group and according to Dr Anthony, these vaccines are expected to arrive on Monday, June 6.

Because of the limited number of these special vaccines, it will be administered on a first come, first serve basis while a number of ‘Drive-thrus’ will be conducted.

As it relates to the vaccination tally for adults, a total of 442, 395 (86.2 per cent) have taken their first dose while 342,021 (66.7 per cent) took their second dose.

Approximately 100 new COVID-19 cases were recorded within 24-hours; there are about 873 active cases and 27 people are hospitalised countrywide, including two persons in the Intensive Care Unit.


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