CHILDREN ages five to 11 could begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine as early as next week once approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said.
The minister was, at the time, speaking during the daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday.
“Starting from next week, we are 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,” Dr. Anthony said.
According to CBS news, 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.
Top US infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said vaccines for the five to 11 age group could likely be available in the first half of November, and could see many children getting fully vaccinated before the end of the year.
Guyana is currently administering the vaccine to children 12 to 18 years, along with pregnant and nursing women.
On Monday, the Health Minister noted the disparity in children 12-18 years taking the second dose of the vaccine. He said 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 per cent 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.
He is also advising parents to ensure their children are immunised so that they could return to school.
An analysis from the Food and Drug Administration suggested that the benefits of vaccinating children younger than 12 far outweigh the risks.