The Guyana government says it will begin vaccinating children ages five to 11 next week once approval is given by the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
“Starting from next week, we are the examining the possibility of doing the vaccination of the five to 11 age group because we are anticipating that the US FDA would approve the Pfizer vaccine for this age group as well, so we will have another cohort of people that we will have to work on,” said Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony.
US media reports noted that Pfizer’s request to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for Americans as young as five years old cleared a key regulatory hurdle Tuesday after a panel of the Food and Drug Administration’s outside vaccine advisers voted by a majority to back Pfizer’s request.
Guyana is currently administering the vaccine to children 12 to 18 years, along with pregnant and nursing women.
Earlier this week, the health minister noted the disparity in children 12-18 years taking the second dose of the vaccine and also noted that there needs to be more uptake of the first dose of the vaccine, with the current fully vaccinated rate of 17,498 or 24 percent of the adolescent population.
“Our approach has been that once we go to a school, open it up to the entire community so anybody within that age group can come to the school that we are operating in and they can get vaccinated. We have seen some of that but in other cases, I think people felt that only people going to that school can come and I think that has caused some confusion so we are working with the ministry of education to correct that so that we can appeal to more people,” Dr. Anthony said.
The health minister said the ministry will continue going into schools and working with the education ministry to ensure children of that age group are vaccinated as well as advising parents to ensure their children are immunized so that they could return to school.