Chief Medical Officer, (CMO) Dr. Narine Singh, has advised that based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) several categories of persons can be exempted from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a memo copied to the Minister of Health and other officials, Dr. Singh said while the WHO and CDC and other health authorities have advised that vaccination of breastfeeding mothers will not cause harm to the infant, the Ministry of Health will only be administering the vaccines to mothers who request it. He explained that mothers who do not wish to be vaccinated for the duration of their breastfeeding will be exempted.
The memo with the exemption is coming at a time when more than half of the country’s adult population has already taken at least one dose of one of the vaccines being offered in Guyana.
Additionally, the Chief Medical Officer pointed out that the health authorities have also advised that vaccination of pregnant women will not cause harm to the fetus, consequently, the Ministry will also be administering the vaccine to pregnant women who request same, while exempting those who wish not to take the vaccine fur the duration of the pregnancy.
Further, the memo stated that persons who were tested positive for COVID-19 can receive their vaccines after 90 days from the date that person was tested positive for the virus, while individuals who received blood transfusions are eligible for the jab two weeks after being transfused.
The Chief Medical Officer also said patients with any clotting disorder such as hemophilia should be given clearance from their attending physician before receiving the vaccine.
Persons with acute cardiac issues or acute cerebrovascular events cannot receive the vaccine until they have recovered and received clearance from their doctor. It is also advised that patients with an active infection should not receive the vaccine until they have recovered.
It is further advised that patients receiving chemotherapy or dialysis should receive clearance from their doctors before being administered with one of the vaccines.
Additionally, persons with sickle cell and epilepsy can receive the vaccine but the date of their last encounter with an attack of the illness should be identified.
Persons who fall within the exemption group and are in the public system will be tested regularly through the public system, the Chief Medical Officer said.