Adolescents eligible for booster shots from today
By Allyiah Allicock
Kaieteur News- From today, children 12 to 17 years are eligible for their first COVID-19 booster vaccine while persons 18 years and older can now be administered a second booster dose.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, who reminded in his daily COVID-19 update on Monday that it is important for persons to be vaccinated. The minister explained that after six months of being vaccinated the immunity that persons would have developed from the vaccine would start waning, therefore, persons can be at risk of contracting the virus. With low uptake in vaccination across the country and the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, persons are urged to get vaccinated. The current COVID-19 vaccines available for persons 18 years and older are Sinopharm, Pfizer and J&J while for adolescents, the Pfizer vaccine is available.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony
“As of the 1st of June, one of the things that the ministry would be doing is to offer a second booster dose so for persons who would like to get their second booster dose, they would be able to get that at any one of our vaccination sites and this is for persons 18 years and older. We are going to offer for the first time booster doses for persons 12 to 17 years of age, so again from the first of June, persons within this age category 12 to 17 would be able to access a booster dose,” Minister Anthony said.
Guyana first started administering vaccines to the adult population in February last year having received the first set of vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility. Following this, adolescents, 12 to 17 years started receiving the vaccines in August just before schools were opened. After that, the first set of booster doses were administered in November to the adult population.
Anthony also announced on Monday that the Health Ministry is expecting the paediatric Pfizer vaccine which will be given to children in the age cohort of five to 11 years. Kaieteur News understands that children in this age group would receive one third of the adult dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and that they will need a second dose of the vaccine three weeks after their first shot.
“By the second week of June, we will start making these vaccines available. So it would allow us to adequately train our staff in the use of the vaccine and once we do that we will start rolling out that vaccine,” he related.