Health Ministry to procure Covid vaccines for children 6-months to 4-years-old

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently given emergency use authorisation for the immunisation of children six months to four years old, using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines manufactured for this age cohort.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said Monday that the Ministry is currently seeking to procure the vaccine for its younger population.

Even as Guyana faces some challenges in acquiring vaccines for children, the ministry continues to collaborate with international partners to ensure citizens access receive the important jabs.

“We have started a process of trying to access the vaccine for the six months to four years age group, and in fact we’re right now trying to determine what quantities we’ll ask for, so this week we will put in that order, and hopefully in the next two months or so we will be able to get some of these vaccines,” the Minister noted.

On June 21, 2022, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) authorised the roll-out of approximately 10 million doses to children in the United States. Dr. Anthony noted that studies have shown that the vaccine is very effective in boosting the immunity of this young population.

Therefore, the ministry is making every effort in procuring the vaccines since “this is another group of people that we would like to get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony explained.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister is urging pregnant mothers to get vaccinated, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy, as this will enable infants to develop antibodies that can protect them against the deadly virus.

“One way of getting them protected is to make sure that the mothers, during pregnancy, that they take their vaccines and it has been shown that if mothers take their vaccine in the third trimester that their children would have enough antibodies to protect them over the next six months.”

The Ministry has been vaccinating children from five to 11 years old. To date over 3,000 children have been inoculated with the first dose of the vaccine.

For adolescents, 47.9 percent took the first dose and 35.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

Minister Anthony is appealing to eligible persons to get their booster doses. He noted that more persons are being hospitalised, even those who were vaccinated with the primary vaccine.

He reiterated that immunity drops approximately six months after vaccination, as such, it is important for persons to get the booster shot. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]