Several students rushed for medical attention after receiving vaccines in school

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…parents unaware of vaccination programme

Several students of the Lochaber Primary School in West Canje, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) had to be rushed for medical attention at the New Amsterdam Hospital after receiving vaccines at the school.

The vaccines were administered on Tuesday last and by the next day, several pupils had to be rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital. Several worried parents reached out to this publication and complained that they were not informed of any vaccination programme.

This Online publication was told by the upset parents that the children’s medical records, such as their clinic cards, were not updated.

Cassandra Author, a mother of five, told Guyana Times that her six-year-old son has not been able to attend school since last Tuesday.

She said while at work on Tuesday, she was called and told that one of her sons was ill at home after receiving a vaccine at school. She said she immediately called the class teacher and was told to call the Head Teacher on the matter.

“She ask me if I didn’t carry my son’s clinic card and I told her ‘no’. I did not sign any form and how could they give my son a vaccine unknowing to me,” the woman lamented.

She further explained that she was unaware of plans to administer the vaccines at the school.

“When I come home I meet my son ill and I take him to the hospital and I left the hospital at 1 o’clock (01:00h) the morning.”

The mother said that she went to the school the following day and met with the class teacher and also the nurse who administered the vaccines. She also had a conversation with the Head Teacher.

According to Author, she was told that the nurse insisted that the pupils be administered the vaccine even if the parents objected.

Author said she contacted the Education Ministry in Georgetown and received an apology from the Department of Education in Berbice.

Meanwhile, another mother, Candace Sulkar, mother of one, told this publication that her daughter suffered a similar fate after receiving the vaccine.

“She said, ‘Mommy! Some nurse come in to the school and they bore me’.”
She said there was blood on her daughter’s shirt and there was evidence which suggests that she received two vaccines.
“She go by my sister and she ask my daughter what happen…she get weak and her skin was hot…,” Sulkar said.

She said she later took her child to the hospital for medical attention. The same scenario was reported by several other parents, who noted that they are upset at the move by the school without their consent.

When contacted, Director of Regional Health Services, Jevaughn Stephen said that in collaboration with the Education Ministry, all Head Teachers were invited to a meeting at the Berbice High School, where they were told about the vaccines and given consent forms to give to the parents. But the upset parents are adamant that they did not receive any consent form.

“Now she (the nurse) asking me for the clinic card so she can put the records in. I have not given her the card…nobody has come to visit to see how the child is doing. Nobody from the school, nobody from the Ministry neither the nurse has come to see him,” Author said.

Meanwhile, when contacted, parents of several other schools in the region said that they received the consent forms and even after signing it they received telephone calls from the school to confirm that they had indeed signed the forms.
Head of the Regional Education Committee, Zamal Hussain said there was some breach of protocol at this particular school.

However, he noted that the Education Ministry has launched an investigation. Hussain also heads the Regional Health Committee. (Andrew Carmichael)

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