Gov’t seeking COVID vaccines for children six months to five years old

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The novel coronavirus continues to infect people and the Ministry of Health is seeking COVID-19 vaccines for children six months to five years old, according to the Director of Family and Primary Health Care Services Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton.

The young population is the only group that has not yet received COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Hamilton, during a recent interview with the News Room, said there has been a mixed level of vaccine acceptance for the other group of children (five to 11 years).

While the ministry hopes to increase the number of children and teenagers vaccinated, and thereby protect them from the worrisome novel coronavirus, she said the ministry is trying to get vaccines for the younger group.

“That is an ongoing effort,” the Director said.

Asked about vaccine hesitancy, Dr. Hamilton acknowledged that parents have concerns about getting their children vaccinated. Some of those concerns include the vaccine’s effect on fertility.

But Dr. Hamilton said that the local Health Ministry, as well as regional and global health authorities, have determined that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for use.

She also reminded the public that for decades, Guyana has been successfully vaccinating children through a robust childhood vaccination.

“We have a very high vaccination record for under five population.

“… and the COVID-19 vaccine is not the only new vaccine that we introduced,” she explained.

The pentavalent vaccine is one of the newer vaccines introduced, Dr. Hamilton said. This vaccine provides protection to a child from five life-threatening diseases – diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Hib. DPT.

Similarly Regional Office Director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Caribbean, Dr. Emily Kainne Dokubo said parents’ fears are not unfounded but she is confident that these vaccines are safe.

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