Govt concerned about potentially low uptake when Guyana gets Covid vaccines for 5-11 age group

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With the current low uptake of Covid-19 vaccine among the 12-17 age category, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has expressed concerns about what the situation will be if Guyana acquires vaccines for the 11-5 group.

For the 12-17 age group, 34,193 or 46.9% of that population have received a first dose while 24,832 or 34% are fully vaccinated.

“We’ve been struggling with our 12 to 17 vaccines,” Dr Anthony lamented.

“Vaccines are available and it is astonishing that you have something that could help reduce the severity of covid and we still have hesitancy where parents are not allowing their children to come forward and get vaccinated,” the Health Minister bemoaned.

In fact, he expressed concerns about what the situation will be if/when Guyana acquires vaccines for the 5 to 11 age category.

“If the vaccination rates that we’re seeing in the 12 to 17 age group, its not really encouraging because we have these vaccines right now and yet we have some amount of hesitancy and parents are not bringing their children for the 12 to 17. So, when we get the vaccines for the 11 to 5, I hope that we will get parents bringing out their children, because the government is investing substantial sums of money to be able to acquire these vaccines,” Dr Anthony expressed.

“As you know, the 11 to 5 is a totally different dosage and therefor it is not easily available on the world market because there is a demand for it and we’ve been working hard to get that vaccine in Guyana and I do hope that when we get it, that we will see better results than we’re having right now with the 12 to 17,” he added.

It was revealed that some 10,078 persons under the age of 19 were infected with Covid since the start of the pandemic – representing 15% of total cases detected in the country.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister also lamented that general vaccination rates have been declining.

“Vaccination is still important,” he reminded.

To date, 437,304 or 85.2% of the adult population have received a first dose vaccine while 335,181 or 65.3% are inoculated with two doses.

In terms of booster jabs, 56,417 have been administered.