Vaccination sites for children above the age of 12 will be rolled out at a number of schools in the coming days.
In addition, to the need for parental permission to be granted for a child to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Education Ministry and the Health Ministry are now requiring a parent to accompany the child when they have to receive the vaccine.
The various vaccination sites for children to receive the Pfizer vaccine have been published on the Education Ministry’s Facebook page.
This afternoon, two students of St. Stanislaus College became the first children to be vaccinated locally against the virus.
The Ministry of Education is encouraging parents to give permission for their children to be vaccinated. With an over age 12 school population of more than 58,000, the Education Ministry has only received permission to vaccinate 4000 children.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand today said the vaccination of children will pave the way for the safer reopening of school.
“The world has decided and based on evidence regarding previous diseases that vaccinations and inoculations are the only way to get over this virus. We are no longer talking about getting over the virus and coming to school, we are talking about getting past the virus so you can live, that is where we are at now”, Manickchand said.
The Education Minister said she understands the concerns of parents, but still encourages them to be responsible in protecting their children against the virus.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said vaccines have always been proven to protect both adults and children from diseases.
“You would have heard how vaccines have saved millions of lives before, whether it’s from measles, yellow fever… and all those things, vaccines have worked they have saved millions of lives, so we know it’s working.”
He said it is important for Guyana to reach herd immunity against COVID.
“We really want to make sure that we could do this in the quickest possible time. So when we come out to school we would really like to see that all the students would have gotten the consent from their parents, so that we could vaccinate the entire school and when we vaccinate the entire school, we can come back and have that school safe for learning” Minister Anthony noted.
Guyana received a donation of the Pfizer vaccine from the US government.
Chargé d’ Affaires at the US Embassy Mark Cullinane said parents should take the step to protect their children since in recent times more children have fallen ill to the virus.
“COVID-19 Vaccines are indeed safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 symptoms including severe illness and even death as we have seen all around the world and here in Guyana. The United States is troubled by recent statistics that more than 4000 children under the age of 18 have been tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus in Guyana. The recent spike in pediatric cases and breakthrough infections from those who already had a vaccine among the adult population offers a strong indication that the Delta variant and others may be spreading here in Guyana”.
Guyana has recorded more than 150 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24hours. Four more women have also died from the virus.