100K 5-11 years-old children being targeted for Covid vaccines

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Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said the Education Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is putting the necessary systems in place to have children 5-11 vaccinated against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) now that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in children 5 through 11 years of age.

Minister Manickchand made the disclosure on Friday in response to a series of questions posed by reporters during a ceremony held to announce the 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results.

She told reporters that the roll out of the Pfizer vaccine here for children between the ages of 5 and 11 was contingent on its FDA approval, and now that it has been approved for emergency use, Guyanese can expect it to be rolled out here as is being done in the U.S.

“Guyana has been very clear that once that happens, we are also going to make that vaccine available to our children, so that has happened. So I can say now, that the vaccine will be made available to 5-11 year-olds,” she told reporters.

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Explaining that a schedule is being developed for the roll out of the vaccination drive, she said more than 100,000 students are being targeted at both the nursery and primary levels.

“We are almost ready with that schedule, it’s a lot more children now. We have about 84,000 primary school children and about 27,000 nursery age children. Most of those would fall into that 5-11 category,” Minister Manickchand detailed.

It was noted that some of the primary school children, who are 12 years and older have already received their vaccine.

According to the Ministry of Health, 27,671 adolescents (12-18) or 37.9% have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine while 18,636 or 25.6% of them are fully vaccinated as of November 5.

However, she said for there to be a return to normalcy, higher percentages must be inoculated.

“It has been disruptive and abnormal since November 2019 for different countries in the world and for Guyana 2020 March, and so the whole aim of putting shots in arm, vaccinating people is so that we can get back to a state of normalcy,” Minister Manickchand said.

According to the Health Ministry, 384,934 persons or 75% of the country’s adult population has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines while 249,557 or 48.6% are fully vaccinated against the virus.



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