153 children ‘vaxxed’ on first day of pediatric COVID vaccination
Guyana began vaccination for its pediatric population, children aged 5 to 11, against COVID-19 on Saturday where a total of 153 children took the jab.
Starting this week, the Ministries of Health and Education will be going into school to continue this vaccination drive even as the specially formulated vaccine are now available at health and vaccination centres across the country.
During his COVID update on Monday, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony described Saturday’s exercise at the National Cultural Centre Tarmac as “very good.”
He said in addition to the 153 children who were vaccinated, another 51 booster shots were given to children, aged 12 to 17 and adults.
The vaccination will be done at schools where there is a high percentage of parents signing the consent forms and will begin in Regions Six, Five, Three and Two this week.
“We have been talking to the Ministry of Education and they sent out consent forms to the parents and were able to collect those responses. So, schools where there is a higher percentage of positive responses we will go in and start vaccination,” Dr. Anthony said.
He advised that from next week, the Ministry will be going to other regions.
“We have also allocated vaccines to these regions and these were sent up and are ready to be used and persons in the regions have been trained as well,” Dr. Anthony added.
The vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 comes two years and three months after the first COVID-19 case and death in Guyana and when schools have fully reopened after a two-year lockdown.
Health and government officials say they intend to ensure that every child is vaccinated.
Guyana currently has 52, 800 doses of the special (pediatric) Pfizer vaccine which the country received from Spain as a donation.
There are roughly between 13, 000 and 15, 000 children between the 5 to 7 age cohort in the country.
Since November 2021, local health authorities have been trying to secure these special vaccines to administer to children.
Dr. Anthony said the government has been promised the donation of another 60, 000 doses, but it will activate that mechanism when these vaccines have been utilised.