Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony says the Pfizer vaccine will arrive here in time for students to return to school in September.
This was disclosed during today’s COVID-19 Update. The Minister said his ministry is working along with the Ministry of Education in preparation for the roll out of the vaccines for children ages 12-17.
Minister Anthony also noted earlier in the week that the Education Ministry has already commenced the distribution of consent letters to parents seeking to have their children vaccinated.
“If they agree that they really don’t have to do anything but if they disagree, then they would fill the form and send it back to the school saying that they don’t want their child, getting the vaccine. Then, the Ministry will have to respect those wishes.”
The Minister said when the consent forms return, it will allow the ministry’s health team to ensure that they have enough vaccines to accommodate the children at the various locations.
“So, what we are now trying to do is to see which school, how many children would be at that school to get the vaccine. So, we are working out these things in advance to make sure that when we send the health team to that school, they would have enough vaccines for the children.”
For parents, who do not wish to have their children vaccinated, Minister Anthony said the Ministry of Education will have to explore alternatives, so that those children can continue learning.
“So, we’ll see what happens, but so far from my discussions with Minister Manickchand, I understand that a lot of schools have sent out these letters. They are coming in back and most of the parents have agreed.”
Dr. Anthony had noted earlier that these vaccines are safe for the children to take as the relevant clinical trials have been conducted.
Making reference to the United States, Dr. Anthony said a large number of children have been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. He noted that there have not been reports of significant issues.
The Minister is cautioning parents that once the vaccine is administered, children may experience some side effects like fever and some aches.
Minister Anthony explained that these side effects are common after taking any vaccine.
Guyana is expected to receive 100,000 doses of the US-made Pfizer vaccine.