Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony says that permission will be needed from parents before COVID-19 vaccines can be administered to their children. He made this revelation during today’s COVID-19 update. According to the official, consent forms are already being distributed to the parents as the country anticipates the arrival of vaccines that have received emergency use authorization to be administered to children.
Minister Anthony added, “One of the requirements that will go with this vaccine is that we’ll need the permission from the parents. We have started sending out letters to parents, and they’ll have to sign those letters and send them back with the child, so we know whether or not we can vaccinate that child. Children under 18 cannot decide for themselves, so their parents will have to give consent,” he said.
He noted that the Pfizer vaccine, which initially received the green light to be administered to persons 16 years and over, recently got the go-ahead to be given to children 12 years and above. He added that the Moderna vaccine also received emergency use authorization to be administered to children between 12 and 18.
Dr. Anthony said that his ministry has been ‘working really hard’ with its partners to access these vaccines and expressed hope that Guyana can get those jabs ‘very soon’.
He noted that training has also commenced on the storage of the vaccines, which requires added attention in terms of temperature specifications, and the use of the ‘special’ syringes to deliver the doses to children.
“Once we complete that [training], we will be able to start the rollout of this vaccination programme,” he said.
He added that the Health Ministry is having discussions with the Education Ministry to make sure that schoolchildren have access to the vaccines.
“We’ll be using different modalities to make sure that children, who are at school, get access to the vaccine, and all of those out-of-school-youth, who would be between the ages of 12 and 18, once we’re in that community, they can come to the vaccination sites and have access to those vaccines,” he said.