Pregnant, breastfeeding mothers exempt from Covid vaccines

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…persons with underlying conditions can also opt not to take jab

Over a week after introducing restrictions for the unvaccinated to Government Ministries and Agencies, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Narine Singh, on Wednesday, released an updated vaccination policy with guidance to pregnant mothers, breastfeeding mothers, those with underlying conditions and more.

As it relates to pregnant women, the CMO indicated that though PAHO/WHO and other authorities have stated that vaccination is safe for the mother and fetus, if pregnant women in Guyana wish not to take the vaccine, it will not be expected of them. The same applies to the breastfeeding mother.

Patients with a range of underlying conditions have also been exempted from the vaccine except if receiving clearance from their attending physician. These patients include anyone with a clotting disorder such as haemophilia, patience receiving chemotherapy or dialysis and patients with an acute cardiac event or acute cerebrovascular event.

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Patients with sickle cell or epilepsy can take the vaccine but the date of the last episode should be identified and, if the patient is not controlled, vaccination should be postponed until this is achieved. Patients with an active infection should not receive the vaccine until they have recovered. It is also important to identify persons on antibiotics and the duration of their treatment.

“For persons with the above-mentioned conditions and other underlying illnesses not listed herein, should present a certificate of exemption from a licensed medical practitioner,” the memo stated. Persons who are exempted but employed will be tested once per month through the public system.

Regarding blood transfusion and donation, individuals who receive blood transfusion are eligible for vaccination two weeks after being transfused. Meanwhile, persons can take the COVID-19 vaccine following blood donation as there is no contraindication.

It is recommended that persons who tested positive for COVID-19 can receive their vaccination 90 days from the date that they were tested positive. The age for vaccination remains 18 years old and above except for Sinopharm where it is only for persons ages 18 to 60.

The memo stated: “Please note that all other persons are eligible for their vaccination. The general principle applies if someone refers being unwell, postpone vaccination until they are better. Also please remember it’s 4 weeks between one vaccine and the other.”

Over the past few days, Government Ministries and Agencies, as well as some private businesses have acted in keeping with the Government’s new mandate to exclude the unvaccinated. Some unvaccinated workers also faced losing their jobs or presenting a negative PCR test regularly at their own expense.

The instruction to exclude the unvaccinated under certain conditions was included in July 29’s, gazetted COVID-19 Emergency Measures and it took effect on August 1, 2021.



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